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BALPA Advises against becoming a pilot

Old 11th Nov 2020, 08:45
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Europe
Posts: 17
Fully agree with you. I would say is in the middle of all extreme positions, as virtually everything in life... It is just a job, yes, but all of them are and a 9-5 or 9-7 job in an office (the latter, my case), with computer, numbers, endless meetings etc is not more enjoyable than flying a plane, although most of the time AP works for you. I am only a PPL holder, but it's my view on this.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 08:58
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 1,958
“Zero responsibility..” ? In an age where almost nobody takes responsibility for anything, the flight deck is the ultimate example of where the buck-stops. If you think otherwise, variable pitch, I sincerely hope you’re not in the industry.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 09:12
  #63 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 99
Yes its even more difficult now because with modern communications chief pilot office can follow your flight and might advise your every move .......
Bueno Hombre is offline  
Old 11th Nov 2020, 11:04
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Home Counties
Posts: 38
I'm on my third career, started flying aged 39 on a sponsored cadet scheme. Yeah the day to day stuff isn't very taxing but things do go wrong and you'd better be ready to deal with them when they do.

I'm married to an anaesthetist, most of her job is monitoring stuff and she can only kill one person at a time. Zero responsibility, really?
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 11:20
  #65 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
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Originally Posted by VariablePitchP View Post
in reality you have zero responsibility.
If you think that you haven't been paying attention...a few from my log book..

"Captain are you happy with the de-icing..we are out of de-icing fluid so if you are not happy we will need to find hotel rooms for X hundred passengers"

"Captain it will take another y hours to fix this defect, minimum, are you happy to extend your hours, if not we will need etc..."

" Birdseed 123, centre is closing en-route airspace due to weather, take up the hold at..., expect onwards clearance at HH:mm" (two hours hence), advise of your intentions"
wiggy is online now  
Old 11th Nov 2020, 11:27
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: somewhere hot and sticky
Age: 41
Posts: 284
Originally Posted by dns View Post
Personally if I don't do it (or at least attempt it) I'll be wondering "what if" forever more.
I'm with the more positive brigade on this one. Given that you seem to have your eyes wide open, have the cash on hand and are not going into debt for it, and that you are considering the much cheaper modular option with some potential free/low pay hour building options afterwards, I say go for it.

Clearly the industry is in a situation the like of which we have never seen before. However so many pilots in the UK (I have found) are blinkered to the multitude of interesting flying roles outside of the airlines. Many of these roles have not been impacted by the pandemic, and while I wouldn't say they are easy to come by, they are certainly more of a possibility than an airline job for the foreseeable future. I completely disagree with the common assumption that 250hrs RHS of a medium jet is the only goal worth going for. In fact I think it's a very poor goal to have for a number of reasons.

If a student is just about to go into massive debt for an integrated course expecting that in 12-18 months they'll walk into an airline job, I'd say that's a very bad idea. But in your case, with eyes wide open, no debt, a relatively slow training program and a good plan to keep some form of flying going afterwards, I think that's a good idea.

Someone on this thread (I can't see who right now to credit) mentioned doing the single engine IR which is cheaper to keep current, and when you decide to get the multi, it gives you a chance to get proficient again before interviews. I back this idea. Consider even just doing the VFR licence - you won't be needing an IR to tow gliders or drop skydivers. Then when you see opportunities needing an IR coming up again, go do the training. (when I got my CPL it was a Single Engine, Day only, VFR only license! - I'm not sure if that's allowed in the UK tbh, but it's fine in NZ)

One final thought (again not sure about the rules around training in the UK, but this was fine in NZ) - consider getting a share of an aircraft. Though some of your flying might need to be through a school/club, much of your hour building towards the CPL can be more cost effective if you own the plane. C150 or similar shares can be had for £1000-2000 with hourly flying rates around the £60/hr mark and fixed charges of around £70/month. PM me if you would like details of where to find shares advertised.
Dupre is offline  
Old 11th Nov 2020, 16:12
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Dubai, once... now London
Age: 47
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Originally Posted by VariablePitchP View Post
Yes itís boring shift work but in reality you have zero responsibility
Can You tell me which airline You work for in the unlikely case you are a pilot ? Just in case.
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 17:12
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: hector's house
Posts: 84
Originally Posted by PilotLZ View Post
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.
No LZ that's drudgery, I don't think anyone is claiming that the role of a pilot is quite that bad.

PS. I guessed you were a pilot, the username gave it away....
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Old 11th Nov 2020, 19:30
  #69 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 620
It's true that pretty much every job has a routine element to it. Unless you're an industry-leading researcher, a designer or something else which actually involves making brand new things from scratch, there will be some form of protocol you'll be following in your working activities. There aren't thousands of ways how to make a dental filling, how to arrange a property sale or how to build court defence in a case of domestic abuse. It's all been done multiple times way before our day and we're unlikely to completely reinvent any process. The same goes for flying. So, I don't think that it's intrinsically a boring occupation just because it's quite procedural. Most jobs are in one way or another.
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Old 12th Nov 2020, 11:59
  #70 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: From UK
Posts: 81
Originally Posted by parkfell View Post
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.
For those of us who have already started the ATPL exams, I think this is the most reasonable response too. Delay as much as possible to extend the amount of time you have. It's worth pointing out that a number of CAAs have extended the 18 month ATPL limit due to Covid so that could give extra time too. Do be careful though for the end of the old syllabus which is/ was due in January 2022 (maybe people like Alex W. know more about this).
Someone who finishes their ATPLs in December 2021 has until December 2024 to complete the IR-CPL. That's a fairly significant amount of time.

Love the analogy too.
RedDragonFlyer is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2020, 01:51
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: London
Posts: 9

True but the main factor is lifestyle, building your life around a roster that can change several times a day is fine when your early 20s but as you get older its harder when you have responsibilities and dont want to end up divorced.

Pay as a pilot is low these days and in many jobs you can define what you earn depending how good you are, not for pilots its all defined for you, very rule based!

As 2020 has shown ALOT of professional jobs can be done from home which makes it more pleasant and it will become more common. I dont know any pilots that can work from home yet.....
DontBeStupid is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2020, 09:28
  #72 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: On the Rock
Posts: 24
Must agree with BALPA for the time being.
Perhaps in the years to come, todays 10 year olds will sit the exams again
SignalSquare is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2020, 23:57
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 2,002
Buy an aeroplane with at least 5 years of life in it., PPL, night rating, maybe instructor. Keep piling up the experience, keep adding to the training pot via your day job as you dip into the dosh to run an aircraft. Watch the pilot market, and do the ATPLs when you see a light at the end of the tunnel. Do the learning for the exams from day one. If you can't enjoy that, you ain't gonna enjoy airlines. If airlines never come back in your age-slot, you'll be a pilot. If they do, you'll be ready. My 2p worth.
charliegolf is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2020, 07:57
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Europe
Posts: 17
Hi there, what do you mean by do the learning for the exams? ATPL theory? I am struggling to plan the 14 subjects' theory considering all factors we nowadays face (crisis, Covid, future demand, 18month time constraint, my age, etc). I am now trying to study in my free time, but with no exam dates nor any certainty of the best plan to organise it, I find it pretty much difficult to properly progress in it.
Aviator172s is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2020, 08:27
  #75 (permalink)  

de minimus non curat lex
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: sunny troon
Posts: 1,355
From previous posts you are suggesting that really only weekends are the only free time you have, due to your work commitments.
As difficult as it may sound, try and do one hour of study after work, and a few hours at the weekend. You need to get into a routine if you hope to make progress. Gently nibble away at it.
I was fortunate working shifts which effectively freed up far more time for study.
The clock will not start until the first exam sitting, and you will have a far clearer picture in 9-12 months time once the vaccines are fully rolled out.
These days the order you sit papers are totally flexible. You need to consider doing the more challenging papers first?
parkfell is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2020, 09:07
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: England
Posts: 1,035
Originally Posted by parkfell View Post
These days the order you sit papers are totally flexible. You need to consider doing the more challenging papers first?
Do them in the order specified by your ATO or you will have difficulty getting the classroom time. Some ATOs have put a lot of thought into the sequence. Others..... havenít.
Capt Pit Bull is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2020, 11:19
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Europe
Posts: 17
Since I am doing it online, and have not attended classes by the moment, I have no clear order to be honest. I have started with M&B and performance, since it might be one of the toughest? Which ones do you think are the toughest ones?
I have some CAE books which are 2 or 3 years old, hope this is not a problem if syllabus hasn't changed much.
Aviator172s is offline  
Old 16th Nov 2020, 13:09
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Richard Burtonville, South Wales.
Posts: 2,002
My post assumed a long lead-in for the OP to start 'formal' training. 'Do the learning now', was meant to mean that there is nothing to stop you getting into the books now. Read the books, leave the Q banks for a bit later, don't be stressing over the exams; or constantly doing tests! I despair at the idea that 'building hours' and 'cramming for the exams', is the right way to look at it. Student pilots should be 'building up their experience', and' broadening their knowledge base', not the former.
charliegolf is offline  
Old 21st Nov 2020, 07:46
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: England
Posts: 1,035

Are you signed up with an ATO?

If so, do them in the order they specify. If not, get signed up with an ATO.

You can’t just self study and go and sit the exams. There are minimum training hours requirements, if you turn up at an ATO saying “Hi, I’m ready to take these exams “ you’ll be in for a disappointment.

Why would you start with PERF and M&B? There are relationships between the subjects that mean there are some sensible orders for doing things in. PERF is a natural follow on from POF, so starting with PERF is sub optimal.

Most ATOs group the subjects into related topics and then provide the mandatory training time in those groups. If you try and do your own thing you’ll be very lucky to have their timetabling match your plan.

Bottom line is that you need to engage with your ATO. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel.
Capt Pit Bull is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2020, 14:23
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Europe
Posts: 17
Thanks man.
I haven't signed up with an ATO for the ATPL yet. I am currently focusing more on the time bulding side, and study on my own whenever I have free time.... That's why I am not very sure about which is the best order to organize the subjects, but tbh, I have only started reading M&B&Performance, so I am open to any advise given.
I think there is a minimum of 14-15 days of class attendance, at least for the online ATPL theory course?

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