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Future Pilots

Old 29th Apr 2020, 10:33
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Queensland
Posts: 3
Future Pilots

Hi everybody, I hope this finds you well despite all the doom and gloom surrounding aviation and Covid.

My question, or rather an endless thought that seems to go around my mind while in isolation..... flying is in the blood, once you start, it's a love affair for life. As a student pilot all we hear about is the current weathering of the aviation industry and the anticipated lack of pportunity for us to progress into the industry post Covid.

My understanding is though, we had a pilot shortage due to a compound of issues:
1. Industry growth outstripped the global ability to train pilots. Covid hasn't dented people's confidence in flying, only taken the ability away for now. I believe a full recovery will be quite swift (provided we have ready pilots to answer the demand).
2. Certain other countries are training their students to FO or SO standard in a bid to fill the right seat to keep aircraft in the air. Progression for these pilots to Captain though will be slow as there is further training required to bring them to "Captain Ready" standard. This slows succession planning to a degree but it's a mountain that's not insurmountable.
3. An interesting statistic I read suggested that pilot influx (if not increased) was not going to match pilot retirements in the future. Sadly, the depth of knowledge leaving or stepping back in the industry was not matched by the introduction of pilots to continue to hold the mantle. How many of these seasoned, near retirement Captains and pilots are going to want to revisit their type currencies after such a long break if they're close to retirement though? (Not that I want to see distinguished pilots leave the industry, more a question of cost vs return time to the chair before having to reassess their career progression - I hope I put that tactfully enough)

My thoughts are, and I invite and appreciate further opionions, surely the future for up-and-coming pilots can't be that bad? We have an industry that suffered no hit to consumer confidence or it's ability to execute task to an excellent standard. We have a situation where a certain number of pilots are FO and SO ready but won't swiftly progress to the Captain's table and we have a question mark over the likelihood of near retirement (commercial) captains that need to evaluate their type currency, career progression and associated costs vs remaining career timeframes.......

Surely the outlook for us can't be that bad considering all of the above?
Callsign Bro is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 11:42
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madrid
Posts: 37
Originally Posted by Callsign Bro View Post
Hi everybody, I hope this finds you well despite all the doom and gloom surrounding aviation and Covid.

My question, or rather an endless thought that seems to go around my mind while in isolation..... flying is in the blood, once you start, it's a love affair for life. As a student pilot all we hear about is the current weathering of the aviation industry and the anticipated lack of pportunity for us to progress into the industry post Covid.

My understanding is though, we had a pilot shortage due to a compound of issues:
1. Industry growth outstripped the global ability to train pilots. Covid hasn't dented people's confidence in flying, only taken the ability away for now. I believe a full recovery will be quite swift (provided we have ready pilots to answer the demand).
2. Certain other countries are training their students to FO or SO standard in a bid to fill the right seat to keep aircraft in the air. Progression for these pilots to Captain though will be slow as there is further training required to bring them to "Captain Ready" standard. This slows succession planning to a degree but it's a mountain that's not insurmountable.
3. An interesting statistic I read suggested that pilot influx (if not increased) was not going to match pilot retirements in the future. Sadly, the depth of knowledge leaving or stepping back in the industry was not matched by the introduction of pilots to continue to hold the mantle. How many of these seasoned, near retirement Captains and pilots are going to want to revisit their type currencies after such a long break if they're close to retirement though? (Not that I want to see distinguished pilots leave the industry, more a question of cost vs return time to the chair before having to reassess their career progression - I hope I put that tactfully enough)

My thoughts are, and I invite and appreciate further opionions, surely the future for up-and-coming pilots can't be that bad? We have an industry that suffered no hit to consumer confidence or it's ability to execute task to an excellent standard. We have a situation where a certain number of pilots are FO and SO ready but won't swiftly progress to the Captain's table and we have a question mark over the likelihood of near retirement (commercial) captains that need to evaluate their type currency, career progression and associated costs vs remaining career timeframes.......

Surely the outlook for us can't be that bad considering all of the above?
I am sorry. I do not mean to be rude, but have you just landed back from Mars?

Unemployment in the two most notorious continents, over 26m in US, ECB estimates 56m in Europe.
Some countries will suffer terrible consequences in their GDP and purchase power in their population.

BA firing pilots, Wizzair, Ryanair, Norwegian, Icelandair, etc.

We are talking about, in many cases, +10000h cpt and very experienced fos.

Airbus struggling for survival (won’t go bust), Boeing slashing thousands of employees.

Where exactly do you place any future “pilot shortage”?
I would venture you can forget of any shortage well into end of this decade.
eimin is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 12:06
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Uk
Posts: 61
I admire your bonhomie , but this is utterly disastrous for those of us in airliners and those of you trying to get in

There will be thousands of rated and current pilots on the market. Thousands . I have type ratings on four Boeings and 10000 plus hours , but I’m looking outside aviation for five years I reckon.

Meester proach is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 12:14
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 47
I have to agree 100% with eimin, although I wonder if ‘end of this decade’ might be a bit optimistic...

My company (aviation but not an airline), employed around 14000 people worldwide until recently. We just layed off almost 5000. We travelled all over for business. My company was aware of teleconferencing etc but we liked to travel and we could afford it - until now. Travel has stopped, but we have not. We are using the internet to run our meetings etc and it is working very well - too well for us to justify flying to meetings anymore. So, my company has learned it can save millions in Airfares, and we can work from home. We also don’t have to get into a tube full of other peoples air, which millions will now be reluctant to do.
This same scenario is playing out in companies all over the world. Flying for business will take a huge hit.

Secondly, look a tourist aviation - how many people are having a financial scare right now? I don’t know the number, but it includes virtually everyone I know including me. So, take that foreign vacation (in the tube of recycled air), or keep the money in the bank and maybe have a few days somewhere more local?
Flying for pleasure will take a big hit.

Aviation is a necessity and will not die, but it will shrink rapidly and I believe permanently. For those who dreamed of a flying career, that is a hard fact to face.

Be realistic and look elsewhere would be my advice. I lived in America for many years and I cannot tell you how many Actors and Authors served me in restaurants...they had a dream, which is great, but could not accept it was almost certainly not going to happen.

You mention retirement and the need to replace people. Yes this is a truism, but shrinking fleets will delay this need for years, and look at how many qualified and experienced pilots will be chasing those jobs...you might be lucky, but be realistic.

If you really must fly (and I get it, I was the same) the consider joining the Military. I spent 29 years as a pilot in the RAF and it was wonderful.

Of course I could be wrong and it might be back to normal in 2 years...but I will bet my pension it won’t.
Baldeep Inminj is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 12:31
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 288
It's anyone's guess how long it will take for demand for pilots to pick up again. There are way too many variables which just cannot be quantified. Any forecast at this stage is merely an educated guess based on data which may or may not be close to how things will actually play out.

When will borders reopen? When will economic activity pick up again and with what amount of damage? How long will it take to get close to the pre-COVID levels of GDP, unemployment, company revenue and individual disposable income? When will individuals be willing to travel again and when will the majority be able to afford it? Which airlines will make it and what will they look like in terms of fleet numbers, route networks and pricing? And a huge number of other questions which simply cannot be answered at this stage. That's what will determine the future of the pilot market in the years to come.

Unfortunately, right now it may appear as the end of the world. And, sadly, terms like "carnage" and "bloodbath" would not be inappropriate to describe the present state of affairs. The good news is that, with 99,99% confidence we can assume that it's not going to last forever. And not even for a decade. Solutions will be found to get the world moving again, to get people working, earning and spending. But the exact timeline of recovery depends on all those things which we don't know yet. So, for now, patience is king. Make sure you find a way to provide for yourself and your loved ones, keep an eye on the situation as many things can change quicker than we expect and, if you are certain that you want it badly enough - one day your turn to take the hot seat will come. It might not be as soon as you would like, but it will.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 12:53
  #6 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Queensland
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by eimin View Post
I am sorry. I do not mean to be rude, but have you just landed back from Mars?

Unemployment in the two most notorious continents, over 26m in US, ECB estimates 56m in Europe.
Some countries will suffer terrible consequences in their GDP and purchase power in their population.

BA firing pilots, Wizzair, Ryanair, Norwegian, Icelandair, etc.

We are talking about, in many cases, +10000h cpt and very experienced fos.

Airbus struggling for survival (won’t go bust), Boeing slashing thousands of employees.

Where exactly do you place any future “pilot shortage”?
I would venture you can forget of any shortage well into end of this decade.
Mars was lovely thank you.
And this is what I was hoping to discuss - let's bounce some ideas around.

We HAD a shortage but what happens when the economy re-invigorates? Trying to look at both sides of the coin, the only people who can fill pilot roles are pilots. I'm hoping to get a feel for people's gut instincts or even personal experience/s when it comes to re-entering or choosing to stay out of the industry.

As far as I can see, a certain percentage will return either from redundency or furlough (will there be enough to fill industry need - who knows?). A certain percentage will choose early retirement or change path to instructing/chartering etc opening opportunities in commercial flying and a certain percentage will need up-skilling to further their career into captaincy.

I appreciate what you're saying about terminations and I'm sorry to those who have been affected but with every industry collapse/crisis there is a dissipation of skilled workers that goes along with it. Some of that dissipation takes years to recover and I don't mean just in terms of manpower but depth of knowledge as well.

I'm looking for opinions and thoughts to that end - what does your gut instinct tell you about what's coming in the future?
Callsign Bro is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 13:27
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: groom lake
Posts: 53
Why put your life on hold for something that may never happen. You've got to explore other avenues and reinvent yourself, otherwise you'll become sad and miserable.
The RAF pilot summed it up, it's all about acceptance. You've got to ask yourself what will I do with myself if it doesnt work out. Some times you've got to accept that its over and it's never going to happen. It's very difficult to do but once you come to that way of thinking it gets easier knowing that you gave it your best shot and now it's time to move on.
I wish I was back in the saddle but realistically don't think it's going to happen due to age ,bad luck etc. I think I reached my peak career about 15yrs ago and that was only for a short period.. I achieved what I wanted to in Aviation and had a fantastic experience.
Like Charles Lindbergh said "In flying I tasted a wine of the gods."
The Deec is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 13:52
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England
Posts: 1,809
Callsign Bro, I won't repeat the above, I think you've probably realised by now your specs are tinted a little towards the pink. All I'll say is 2 years, 3 years or 5 years. However long it takes, just be ready. Ready, both in terms of multiple life skills and finances. I've had my hopes and despair spread across an entire decade. The knock backs made me who I am today (a man with some great experience in two highly paid industries), so I count it as a blessing. This is the position you should hope to be in when things return to normality. As people keep singing...this industry is highly cyclic (meaning another down turn will likely feature in your early years as a commercial pilot). Good luck.
Superpilot is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 15:44
  #9 (permalink)  
I REALLY SHOULDN'T BE HERE
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: TOD
Posts: 1,350
I have been flying for 15 years or so, currently an Airbus skipper SH European low cost airline, 9000ish hours. I wouldn't be shocked if I have captained my last commercial flight. This is not like anything commercial air transport has had to weather before. Don't listen to the spin from the training outfits. IATA don't know, Airbus don't know, Boeing don't know, training organisations definitely don't know. The last think I would be doing is spending money on commercial training. There are too many unknowns. A lot of commercial flying is about risk assessment. To me, to spend tens of thousands on training is a case of committing to a course of action without gathering the required information first. Be patient, wait until you have a better idea of what is happening in the industry before making any major decisions. This is the first scene of the first act of the play. Don't be impetuous, take a deep breath and wait as long as it takes for the trajectory of the industry to become clearer.

speedrestriction is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 17:17
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: away from home
Age: 59
Posts: 728
A young man (21) in my family is doing his PPL. He asked my advise for continuing towards CPL, and I told him not for now. Go to University, get a 3 year degree, then you have something to fall back on. Check back on flying after those 3 years.
oceancrosser is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 17:33
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 288
Wise move. A degree is well worth it even in the best of times. It's a backup qualification - but not only. A degree teaches you a number of skills which the ATPL tests never will. Examples of these are working with sources of information, researching a topic with very minimal guidance from outside, team work, perseverance and whatnot else. Not to mention that some airlines still require or at least strongly prefer candidates educated to University level. So, that would indeed be a good way to spend the time which the industry needs to recover and come back more employable and better-rounded overall.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 17:49
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: U.K.
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Originally Posted by PilotLZ View Post
Not to mention that some airlines still require or at least strongly prefer candidates educated to University level.
If you are referring to airlines in Europe, as per your declared location, then I'm sorry but that is just completely untrue
TheAirMission is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 18:10
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Scotland
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by Baldeep Inminj View Post
Secondly, look a tourist aviation - how many people are having a financial scare right now? I don’t know the number, but it includes virtually everyone I know including me. So, take that foreign vacation (in the tube of recycled air), or keep the money in the bank and maybe have a few days somewhere more local?
Flying for pleasure will take a big hit..
I've just picked out this bit to quote, because fundamentally I agree with everything else you wrote.

I think if you get out of the aviation bubble you'll find that most people actually aren't struggling right now. The people on our estate, none of whom are pilots or involved in aviation in any way, are currently working from home but apart from that it is very much business as usual. It's business as usual for accountants, lawyers etc., in other words middle class professionals who take at least one relatively expensive family holiday a year. It's also business as usual, if that's the way to put it, for the well off retirees who are still planning to head to the Canaries this winter. From speaking to the neighbours, I'm yet to find anyone who is worried about getting on an aeroplane, or going to another country. What I am hearing is a universal desire to get away on holiday as soon as restrictions are lifted.

I think the one area of aviation that will suffer the least in the UK (note I haven't said it won't suffer at all) is bucket and spade, package holiday flying within Europe. Business travel and long haul is of course an entirely different matter and is going to suffer massively.
guy_incognito is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 20:22
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Orbit
Posts: 10
Less than 35.. find a other job. Aviation will never go back to the absurd pre COViD levels. The pay to fly story is over...thanks God.​​​​​
Yury Gagarin is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 20:28
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Surrey
Posts: 434
Originally Posted by Yury Gagarin View Post
The pay to fly story is over...thanks God.​​​​​
The way airlines are behaving, I struggle to believe that they'll be the ones paying for the training...
Busdriver01 is online now  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 20:36
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Birmingham
Posts: 16
Thought I'd throw in my penny's worth. I am a PPL, was hour building and planned on sitting my ATPL's in the autumn. I know now that career in aviation, as I envisioned it a year ago, just isn't a reality anymore. I've had my A Levels and now my hopes of a future career all but dashed due to this crisis. Whilst this has been very hard to accept, it's just the way the world is. I have a stable job to go back to at McDonalds thankfully, so I can keep afloat financially. I have applied for the RAF and Navy in the hope of pursuing some sort of aviation career, but like I say, my hopes and dreams are somewhat dashed for a while.
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Old 29th Apr 2020, 20:52
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by ManFlex40 View Post
Thought I'd throw in my penny's worth. I am a PPL, was hour building and planned on sitting my ATPL's in the autumn. I know now that career in aviation, as I envisioned it a year ago, just isn't a reality anymore. I've had my A Levels and now my hopes of a future career all but dashed due to this crisis. Whilst this has been very hard to accept, it's just the way the world is. I have a stable job to go back to at McDonalds thankfully, so I can keep afloat financially. I have applied for the RAF and Navy in the hope of pursuing some sort of aviation career, but like I say, my hopes and dreams are somewhat dashed for a while.
Apply for the military no problem but there is going to be struggles everywhere. I also wouldn’t give up on ATPL straight away. Once you can go flying again under your PPL then keep doing so and see how the industry evolves. There is going to be no growth in the industry for a few years but it will recover to more prosperous levels and maybe then is your chance. Again it’s not going to be easy for anyone for several years or more.

I think training-wise then modular is one of the safest ways to go from now.
squidie is offline  
Old 29th Apr 2020, 21:53
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by ManFlex40 View Post
I've had my A Levels and now my hopes of a future career all but dashed due to this crisis.
With a slight bit of hope, if you're only just completing your A Levels you have more time ahead than nearly everyone in this forum. If you can get a military career fantastic, keep flying for fun, take whatever opportunities you find. A degree in something useful or aviation experience elsewhere will always be helpful. Life experience is valuable and in some cases there have been people up the front end of airliners who really haven't had enough.
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Old 30th Apr 2020, 00:29
  #19 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
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Posts: 3
Thank you all for your feedback, there's some really interesting reading above.

I probably should have mentioned some of my backstory earlier: I'm 40 this year, studying an Bachelor of Aviation (including ATPL's) - a late bloomer, I know right!? - I'm about to complete CPL's with a job offer to instruct on the table upon completing CPL + Instructor Rating. I haven't suffered quite so much hardship with Covid as I still have a job and truth be told, startup costs for university/flying equipment broke me harder than the Covid situation so I by no means have experience with the catastrophic lows some people are experiencing and maybe (mentioned earlier) this tints my glasses a little bit rose. I''m close to completing CPL's now so I still have a couple of years of ATPL 's and hours building to go so I'm not even "Industry ready" yet - mentally and life experienced yes but skill set, depth of knowledge and type rated no. I feel I've committed to the longest part of my training as it's now well past the halfway mark and like my original post mentioned (like pilots with lapsed currencies) I think there is value to push on and complete my course, even if for the moment it is just a case for my resume to say "Degree".

In saying that, instead of being a human sheep and falling for all the clickbait and horror stories out there, I'm trying to find a broad spectrum view and evaluate (risk assess) things that may sway the industry one way or the other.

There are some very valid points coming in and I value both the optimistic and not-so optimistic perspectives posed. I'm by no means misguided enough to think things will be hunky dory straight away but I'm also influenced by my grandfather's 5P's - Pre-Preparation Prevents Poor Performance so I do find a degree of value in completing my degree.... at least if things change for the better, I'll have my skills in the pocket, which is more than I can say for some classmates who are deferring from next semester just to observe the situation a little longer. I don't feel pressing on or deferring are bad decisions either way, more a case of personal circumstances at play.

In the end, none of us really know how it will play out. I have neighbours on my street who are itching to get away once restrictions are lifted, on the other side my eldest kids lost their jobs months ago so are doing it a little hard but as a general we're all getting through it. On a personal level, I'm by no means put off flying in the future. I concede, will be scrupulous with my destination but not the mode of how I get there.

At the moment, I'm taking this as a life lesson in tenacity but I AM watching the media vigorously too. Hence, I've presented here - we as a group may have more rounded and less hype fuelled views. It seems to me, I've placed my thoughts in many capable hands here, so thank you all.
Callsign Bro is offline  
Old 30th Apr 2020, 05:06
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 85
Originally Posted by Callsign Bro View Post
Hi everybody, I hope this finds you well despite all the doom and gloom surrounding aviation and Covid.

My question, or rather an endless thought that seems to go around my mind while in isolation..... flying is in the blood, once you start, it's a love affair for life. As a student pilot all we hear about is the current weathering of the aviation industry and the anticipated lack of pportunity for us to progress into the industry post Covid.

My understanding is though, we had a pilot shortage due to a compound of issues:
1. Industry growth outstripped the global ability to train pilots. Covid hasn't dented people's confidence in flying, only taken the ability away for now. I believe a full recovery will be quite swift (provided we have ready pilots to answer the demand).
2. Certain other countries are training their students to FO or SO standard in a bid to fill the right seat to keep aircraft in the air. Progression for these pilots to Captain though will be slow as there is further training required to bring them to "Captain Ready" standard. This slows succession planning to a degree but it's a mountain that's not insurmountable.
3. An interesting statistic I read suggested that pilot influx (if not increased) was not going to match pilot retirements in the future. Sadly, the depth of knowledge leaving or stepping back in the industry was not matched by the introduction of pilots to continue to hold the mantle. How many of these seasoned, near retirement Captains and pilots are going to want to revisit their type currencies after such a long break if they're close to retirement though? (Not that I want to see distinguished pilots leave the industry, more a question of cost vs return time to the chair before having to reassess their career progression - I hope I put that tactfully enough)

My thoughts are, and I invite and appreciate further opionions, surely the future for up-and-coming pilots can't be that bad? We have an industry that suffered no hit to consumer confidence or it's ability to execute task to an excellent standard. We have a situation where a certain number of pilots are FO and SO ready but won't swiftly progress to the Captain's table and we have a question mark over the likelihood of near retirement (commercial) captains that need to evaluate their type currency, career progression and associated costs vs remaining career timeframes.......

Surely the outlook for us can't be that bad considering all of the above?
Training to become a pilot has made little sense at the best of times but especially now. It was always my dream and until very recently I gave it everything I had. I was utterly devastated to be rejected by AL on their cadet programme at the last hurdle... Then covid19 happened just a few weeks later.

Other than following my dream, a career as an airline pilot still didn't make much sense but now I thank my lucky stars I didn't get through and give everything up only for this to happen.

What do I have to fall back on? A decent career as an Engineer and now sales person. I've made €60k in commission alone in the last year which is more than some pilots make full stop from what I've heard.

Honestly I think you should go elsewhere for now. The airlines treat people like dirt, they're incredibly arrogant, the jobs won't be worth the crap salary they offer new starters and you can enjoy a decent lifestyle until it all picks up again in the future.
shamrock_f22 is offline  

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