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BALPA Advises against becoming a pilot

Old 7th Nov 2020, 16:22
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bristol, England
Age: 62
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What parkfell said
Alex Whittingham is offline  
Old 7th Nov 2020, 18:30
  #22 (permalink)  
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dns, if you’ve got money for the course, and to keep yourself for a year or three afterwards, go in with open eyes and fill your boots. But paying for a course now on the expectation of a job to follow, especially on borrowed money is a financial kamikaze mission at this point.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 20:43
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Palm Beach
Posts: 48
All we needed is for BALPA to stick the knife in......what load of twoddle!

Let ensure ALL ATO's go out of business, all flight instructors lose their jobs, all training aircraft get scrapped after not being used for 2 years...let's just give up.

Yes I agree (as per all my other posts on this forum) paying 100K+ for training is insane today......but this was always close to insane anyway, and completely unnecessary. Spend no more than half that. BALPA (and everyone else) didn't care then and didn't offer advice or caution then, they were encouraging people to just go for it. It was almost like World War 11, "your'e country needs you", except it was "airlines are desperate for pilots" so you can't go wrong.

We all need to take a breath and take a cautiously optimistic approach to training. The vaccine will come soon and attitudes will change, but dent go crazy and don't get sucked in. Take one step at time but don't stop. I, like many others will repeat, Go Modular, pay only small amounts upfront, stop training anytime you want based on how you feel about things, don't sign a fancy contract with huge commitments to finish or get nothing...and above all enjoy your flying and focus on the dream after all, life would be miserable without something to look forward to and work towards.

spitfirejock is offline  
Old 7th Nov 2020, 21:04
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: London
Posts: 9
spitfirejock actually BALPA never said or recommended a career in aviation, they have videos online from years ago saying think about it, its alot of money for no guarantee, terms and conditions are getting worse by the day it seems.

From my experience BALPA people are pretty decent and most pilots I know there actually try and discourage their children from it as a career as its not what it used to be and that was before 2020!

There is a massive oversupply in the market for pilots and that isnt going to change for a long long long long long long long long time. What this post was trying to do was saying dont believe what some flight school tells you because many experienced pilots have no job so your better off doing something else and maybe come back to it in 6/7 years....
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 11:21
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: california
Age: 63
Posts: 338

You're viewing the ATO's with rose tinted spectacles. Some people have made their fortunes from running what was inevitably going to end as a Ponzi scheme. As BALPA state 200 guys/girls holding the ponzi Easyjet MPL.

Nothing short of a miracle will prevent carnage in the British Airline industry next year. Start with BA, they don't have the money to maintain their LHR slot allocation. Easyjet need a superb summer to stay afloat etc. People are struggling they don't have money to spend and they're nervous.

Looking long term, 5 years plus. I think that there will be one more good period for Pilots. Lasting from about 5 years time until the time that semi Autonomous Aircraft come along reducing significantly demand for Pilots, that I believe will be in 15 years time. Don't forget that flight Engineers were in denial about being replaced in the 70's and 80's but it did happen, and when it started, it happened pretty quickly.

Currently qualified and experienced Pilots will get one more go, I'm confident of that.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 11:42
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bristol, England
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BALPA have always warned against spending 100K on a licence and have, at least for the last 10 years, promoted the modular route as the way to go. They were particular opponents of the terms of 'employment' given to some Easyjet/CTC cadets, a model that CTC called 'flexicrew' and which BALPA regarded as a zero hours contract .
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 12:22
  #27 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
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Originally Posted by polax52 View Post
..........Don't forget that flight Engineers were in denial about being replaced in the 70's and 80's but it did happen, and when it started, it happened pretty quickly...... .
A number ended up at BAeFC PIK in 1992. Aged between 28 to 44. Many succeeded in achieving fATPL and returned to BA as FOs.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 14:19
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2018
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I stand corrected......but I just felt that we don't need to pile on any more negativity. COVID is making people miserable and depressed, and as some would say, the cure is proving worse than the disease in so many ways.

Notwithstanding all the uncertainly, ATO's will have to offer incredibly attractive pricing to convince potential trainees to get qualified now, perhaps this is the only good thing that will come out of all this? Paying considerably less than $50,000 (equivalent) from zero to CPL/IR, is where the industry was 25 years ago and I am now seeing these prices being offered.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 14:30
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
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Here comes another catch - an attractive price which is, however, requested upfront should light that red MASTER WARNING in your head. It could easily be due to a dent in the short-term liquidity of the school, with the bean counters being desperate to get any money into the account, no matter the long-term consequences. And, at some point, it may go BANG with your money and incomplete training.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 14:39
  #30 (permalink)  
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PilotLZ - 1,000 percent agreed - run a mile if asked.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 15:20
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Brexland
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Autonomous aircraft might start being built in 15 years (highly unlikely) but it will be another 30 years until they start replacing all the ones coming off the production line right now, let alone all of the ones currently parked up. Now let's add in the time frame for upgrading airport infrastructure/ATC to deal with them, another 10 years? New joiners have a myriad of things to be concerned about, being replaced by robots any time soon isn't one of them.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 16:19
  #32 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
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Why couldn’t you upgrade the airports at the same time as building the aircraft?

Though I do agree with you on the timeframe. Most people with jobs now are probably fine. If you’ve got a two year old though, they’re probably not going to get a run at it.

The MAX crashing itself into the floor has probably bagged us an extra 5 years with any luck.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 18:05
  #33 (permalink)  
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And when you have spent however many pounds or dollars to acquire your CPL..... What are you going to do with it?
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2020, 18:28
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: South East
Age: 39
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Personally if I don't do it (or at least attempt it) I'll be wondering "what if" forever more.

In light of what BALPA have said, I may rethink how I go about it, maybe go modular, get an instructor rating, build some hours towing gliders etc if I can. I had previously been planning to go integrated as I'd always thought it was what the airlines preferred.

​​​​​Maybe there will be a job for me one day, maybe there won't, but right now I have absolutely nothing to do anyway as my work no longer exists (I was a production technician in live events).

It's very interesting to see the different opinions on here
dns is online now  
Old 8th Nov 2020, 19:41
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 303
I've seen a few big downturns during my career. The aviation market only ever seems to be good for about three of every ten years. It's a roller coaster industry, always has been. I trained after 9/11, people told me that there would never be any jobs again due to fear of flying. True in the short run, not so in the long run. If you are still interested in a flying career, just do a PPL in your spare time and get the exams out of the way. As has been said, avoid integrated courses and getting an IR until things improve. Don't get big ideas about going to Africa to build hours, crop dusting or even instructing. When the pilot market is low, there really are no jobs, or they are just awful ones, best to avoid.

Hedge your bets, don't bet the farm, bide your time and maybe invest in a decent flight simulator setup to scratch your itch. Don't give up though, few will train now and this will help you in the future.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 20:03
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bristol, England
Age: 62
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In my view there's not going to be any significant hiring for at least 3 to 5 years. My advice would be stay in your job, work slowly, aim for a CPL SE IR and sit on it. Enjoy your flying for a bit. If/when hiring restarts the upgrade to ME IR and APS MCC will leave you reasonably current. Beware of any ATO that asks for large sums of money upfront. If there aren't some big integrated schools going to the wall in the next two years I would be astonished. They are all advertising modular courses but there is no way they can ever get their cost base down to even begin to compete with the best modular ATOs. An example would be
  • Leading Edge MEIR, price now POA but last time I looked £35K,
  • L3 MEIR £39,500,
  • Skyborne combined CPL MEIR APS/MCC £44,500
whilst comparable modular offerings are
  • Diamond in Sweden, which is just the dogs, £30K for a modular MEIR including accommodation etc. £25K not.
  • Stapleford modular CPL ME IR £22K (if I have read it right)
  • VA APS MCC about £7K, Wings Alliance similar.
Integrated are not even close, they can't compete. Integrated course recruitment has dropped to near zero, no modular income = bust

Last edited by Alex Whittingham; 8th Nov 2020 at 22:07.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 22:30
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Palm Beach
Posts: 48
However Alex, although everything you say I agree with, as confirmed by all my posts, don't just plug the Wings Alliance ATO's as you are the founding member, there are plenty of others just as good and some even less expensive!
spitfirejock is offline  
Old 8th Nov 2020, 22:36
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Bristol, England
Age: 62
Posts: 1,602
Fair cop, but it is not-for-profit and i was only a little plug just after VA, who are very good! Anthony Petteford is a complete star, years of experience and very balanced. I don't think either of us are going to be doing many APS/MCC courses for some time.

Edit: are you querying my examples of modular prices? Yes, there are even cheaper modular offerings but I wouldn't put my name to recommending them, hence not mentioned.

Last edited by Alex Whittingham; 8th Nov 2020 at 23:06.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 14:20
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2010
Location: WAW
Age: 46
Posts: 51

Same advice as above - go slowly modular. In 3 years from now you'll have fresh, current license and you will be ahead of many. Some old hands would retire anyway, some others will not have money to stay current etc.

Getting there modular way for someone who loves aviation is mostly fun. Especially time building if you can afford. And I bet you can if you can afford integrated way.
If you will build time by flying for long weekends from UK to Spain or Croatia it will be absolutely amazing way of learning. SO much better than doing circuits in local school

After all - who knows what the world will be like in 3-5 years from now. Maybe no job for pilots, maybe the savings you have will diminish due to a worldwide crisis.
At least you'll have memories from the air
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 16:22
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 327

I would wait until there is a clear trend of pilot vacancies before doing any pilot training. There are so many unemployed pilots who have experience and lost their job in the last year that vacancies won't be available to cadets until most of them have been hired again which will take a long time.
Negan is offline  

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