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BALPA Advises against becoming a pilot

Old 9th Nov 2020, 20:48
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Even the statistics for unemployed pilots, grim as they are, don’t reveal the worst. Most of the “lucky” employed pilots are on reduced pay in some cases equating to salaries when I joined the industry 31 years ago.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 20:59
  #42 (permalink)  
dns
 
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Negan

I appreciate the advice.

Out of interest, what would be the downside of doing my CPL and ATPL exams over the next year or so?

My current career has completely evaporated thanks to Covid and I'm desperate for something new to stop me going out of my mind with boredom! (I'm lucky in that I have no commitments and my partner earns a good salary which means I don't have to worry about getting work)

​​​​​​If I did my training over the next 12 months, but then had to hang about for a year or so before an airline job arrived, would that be a problem? Wouldn't I just have to do enough hours to keep current or do airlines only look at cadets who have recently finished their training?
​​​
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 21:56
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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If I did my training over the next 12 months, but then had to hang about for a year or so before an airline job arrived, would that be a problem?
Tell me more about this “airline job” arriving? I appreciate a large dollop of naivety is evident, but is that really what you think happens? Airlines are making pilots with tens of thousands of hours redundant. Do you honestly believe that that there is likely to be a mandate to go out and seek CPL holders with 250 hours? If so, why?

Wouldn't I just have to do enough hours to keep current or do airlines only look at cadets who have recently finished their training?
A flight crew normally comprises 2 pilots. A Captain and usually a First officer. In the case of the latter, that pilot will have a reasonable amount of relevant aviation experience. The First officer may also be a “cadet.” Generally, that means they are an inexperienced pilot who has followed a specific programme of flight training that has been tailored towards an airlines apprenticeship programme. Not all (indeed not many) airlines operate Cadet programmes. Those that do, tend to use them as a fast track apprenticeship to the right seat of that airline. For the airline, the benefits are junior pilots with a known provenance. These cadets are demanding on training resources, but that is offset by reduced early career salaries and strict probationary requirements. On top of this, the prospective cadet assumes nearly all of their own financial risks.

The “self improver” CPL holder with 250 hours isn’t normally a prospective “cadet.” Airlines recruiting First officers will generally look for experience that is commensurate with their operating requirements. That means they usually want experienced type rated pilots. Normally there is absolutely no shortage of such candidates. Piles of applications are whittled down to the best and most suitable candidates who are then offered interviews to further whittle down the process.

The new CPL is really an “aerial work” licence. It allows you to work for remuneration. Flying instruction and other light aircraft work were always the traditional ways of amassing experience to work your way up the career ladder to the “pinnacle” jobs. In recent years the perception that a CPL and 250 hours was a golden ticket to the airlines has very much taken root and very often been the source of much angst and disappointment.

Airlines are in the business of making money and like any business they look for the best product at the cheapest cost. For the foreseeable future they will have pilots with thousands and thousands of hours of relevant experience prepared to sell that experience and their acquired skills at a truly knock down price. Do you honestly believe these companies are going to have a demand for 250 hour licence holders with no experience to offer? It’s also worth bearing in mind that training becomes stale very quickly. Licences and ratings are a perishable commodity and they are very expensive to keep current. You only have to speak to airline pilots now about their serious concerns as their own Licence standard tests and Operator proficiency checks expire.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 22:08
  #44 (permalink)  
dns
 
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So, what do you suggest?

That everyone just stops any idea of being a pilot?

​What happens in 3-4 years time when all the currently unemployed pilots are back in jobs?

Airlines surely have to accept inexperienced pilots at some point...

​​​​​​
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 22:12
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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No.

However, here is a bit of a reality check for you to ponder while you wait for the “airline job” to arrive. Ignore it by all means.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 22:14
  #46 (permalink)  
dns
 
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I'm not expecting it to just happen immediately, but surely lomg-term someone who starts now is as in a good a position as anyone?
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 22:23
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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dns

Nothing wrong about doing your CPL and ATPL exams before commencing training. In fact a lot of integrated courses and Cadets do their theory first and then focus on flying after.

The chances of securing an airline job after a year is impossible at this stage. It's only possible if you're a Cadet and even Cadet programs are being culled. Once the industry does recover (expect 2022/23), priority will go to the hundreds if not thousands of experienced pilots that have been stood down. It will take awhile for the industry to gain movement to the point where the benefits finally trickle down to the hundreds of fresh CPL/IR pilots competing for a spot in the industry.

To keep current, you would have to renew your CPL and Instrument Rating. As long as you renew your ratings I don't think airlines care if you recently finished your training. Either way it's not going to matter as I'd say there will be a backlog of Cadets anyway. I'm not sure on the exact cost for renewals but I'd suspect it's 3-5k every year.

In this time of uncertainty, it's not worth bleeding thousands every year just waiting for the industry to recover. As others have said, wait for more certainty before making any big decisions.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 22:35
  #48 (permalink)  
dns
 
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Thanks blackpink,

​​​​​ Obviously I'm aware that it's an incredibly time, I'm just not prepared to let a lifelong dream go that easily!

I'm just looking to do what gives me the best chance possible when things finally start to pick up!
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Old 10th Nov 2020, 06:28
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Get your PPL first. See if you like flying. Then start the ATPL theory training, spread the exams over some time. Then assess the state of the industry. If low hour pilots are getting hired by then (can be 3 -4 years from now) invest in the CPL/IR. Do all this while holding a (part time) job. Pay all out of your savings. Take your partner with you on a "hourbuilding holiday" in California or Western Australia to reward him/her for putting up with all the whining and aviation bullshit talk. Above all enjoy it.
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Old 10th Nov 2020, 06:59
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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I'm with you, I started my ppl in 2004 with the intention of getting my commercial ticket, then listened to all the doomsayers back then pointing out that there were no jobs, autonomous airliners coming, the world is over etc etc - then spent the next 13 years watching as all my mates stepped into airline jobs, pilots were in short supply and generally kicked myself for being short sighted.

So here I am at 38, just completed my PPL at stapleford, bought a beagle pup for hours building about to start my ATPL theory with Bristol.

All I'm saying is that there are Doom Mongers everywhere, if you want to fly - aviation is more than just airlines and there is alot of metal out there still flying! Just do it, but follow the modular route. As far as i can tell those spending 100k plus are just spanking away 50k for fun. Use that 50k saved to buy a spamcan!
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Old 10th Nov 2020, 07:43
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Personally I think any move away from the mindset that you'll get a sure fire financial return if you or your backers "invest" 100k plus in an integrated course would be a good thing.
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Old 10th Nov 2020, 08:01
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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I guess one of the things going on here and lie beneath all this debate (very interesting btw), is the fact that it is tremendously tough and sad to give up a dream that many of us aim to fulfill one day. I include myself here. The thing is that when you want something "so badly", you can't think rational and always try to read/seek for opinions that support your positions, but unfortunately, we need to listen to those in the industry and to those who tell us reality, which will be pretty gloomy for a couple of years (hopefully 2 or 3 in a best case scenario?).

I think is a great idea to have a PPL, fly whenever possible as time building makes up, and start ATPL theory without doing exams at least until there is some clarity about short-term future? At least, that's my idea and I try to be happy doing it, despite all this huge negativity/reality check.

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Old 10th Nov 2020, 09:12
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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[irony mode ON]

Get your 100k checks ready, folks!

Freshly baked from CAE: https://www.cae.com/cae-pilot-demand...O_2020_article

[irony mode OFF]

Seriously, why would they publish such article right now?!
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Old 10th Nov 2020, 09:30
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Heavens that's right up there with the best of the pre-Covid "living the dream" adverts... starting with the apparently ethnically and gender balanced images right through to fancy bar charts.

Of course the "why" is money..
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Old 10th Nov 2020, 09:31
  #55 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by Aviator172s View Post
..........I think is a great idea to have a PPL, fly whenever possible as time building makes up, and start ATPL theory without doing exams.......
This is a terribly difficult time for those who were about to start the ‘journey’.
The analogy is joining the Church; you need to believe in a God.

The Modular route is clearly the sensible way to proceed. Keep the day job. Avoid going into debt, and gently nibble away at the hour building and once the C-19 vaccine is fully rolled out, think about booking the first exam sitting.
The 18 (up to) month clock will then start. Get the 14 Exams ✔️: up to 36 months for licence issue.
Previous advice given on whether SE IR initially, with ME/IR + MCC once it is evident that Junior Birdmen are being recruited.

The older brethren are probably better considering Turbo Prop jobs, unless of course you consider yourself to be ‘an ace of the base’.
In my experience that is about as rare of rocking horse shOneTango.

EDIT: I have now read the posting by BONES including
the cae.com ~ pilot demand link.
Nothing in that would change my thoughts on the timings stated above.
CAVEAT EMPTOR

Last edited by parkfell; 10th Nov 2020 at 15:24. Reason: EDIT: cae
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 06:37
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by dns View Post
So, what do you suggest?

That everyone just stops any idea of being a pilot?

​What happens in 3-4 years time when all the currently unemployed pilots are back in jobs?

Airlines surely have to accept inexperienced pilots at some point...

​​​​​​
Sure mate give it a go, what's the worst thing that could happen? Even in the good times it is a massive gamble dropping 100k on the chance of getting in the rhs of a jet

Go for it if you really can afford it but only you can answer that.

Lots of tales of woe out there from folk that didn't make it for a myriad of reasons. I wouldn't trust any of the large training providers either.

No-one here is trying to shatter your dreams dude but at the end of the day it is just a job.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 07:22
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Capewell View Post
No-one here is trying to shatter your dreams dude but at the end of the day it is just a job.
This is the very fact that the training schools go to great efforts to avoid mentioning. I fly with many young people, all great operators, but all pretty disillusioned at the huge gap between the dream and the reality.

Working as an airline pilot is essentially boring, repetitive, shift work and anyone who thinks otherwise either isnít a pilot or is in denial.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 07:34
  #58 (permalink)  
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Yes itís boring shift work but in reality for 99% of the flights all you have to worry about is not thumping it in at the end of the flight. You donít have to do any development work if you donít want to, work never follows you home and the vast majority of your time at work is spent reading the paper and eating snacks.

Yes itís just a job but for the money it is by far the easiest job you could have.

Edited because tone doesnít come across very well in text...

Last edited by VariablePitchP; 12th Nov 2020 at 07:13.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 07:53
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Please tell me you’re not an airline pilot?
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 08:26
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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To me, sitting at a desk and going over the same standardised papers over and over again is a far more boring and repetitive job, as compared to flying. I am a pilot, so this suggests that I'm in denial. Thanks for enlightening me, it was good to learn something new about myself.

One reason why people's opinions on whether flying is a good job or a not-so-good one are so polarised is that most have never known otherwise. Some guys in their 30s who jumped into the RHS at age 20 and have never known working life outside of the flight deck think that it's a terrible job. Others, by contrast, have never had any real exposure to aviation and, from their outsider position, think that it's all roses and you get paid like a superstar and treated similarly just for sitting in a seat and watching a jet fly itself. The reality, as usually, is somewhere in between.
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