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BALPA Advises against becoming a pilot

Old 6th Nov 2020, 15:20
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BALPA Advises against becoming a pilot

Pretty much as the title says. £100k with no realistic chance of a job for years. Link
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 15:52
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Add to this the big question of how internationally recognisable will British licences be in a post-Brexit world. Insurance is the true bugger with that. As much as the UK has been known to have very high standards of flight training ever since, if the insurance provider says "UK CAA is not equivalent to EASA" - there go your chances of a job abroad without exchanging your ticket for a different authority.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 17:04
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Suspect it’ll just become the new normal for people to chop their licenses for EASA ones then start job hunting. Wouldn’t be surprised if U.K. airlines are able to still accept EASA licences, then there would be no point at all in a U.K. one. At that point we may as well just be back in EASA...
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 17:24
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I don't think BALPA spelling out the current situation out to prospective students will change anything. You either are smart enough to understand it yourself or no amount of reality checks will help you, so I would not be surprised to see the amount of those willing to shell out £100K+ go down that much for a time being. But in the end I think this crisis will have certain positive effects too and one them being the eventual convergence of supply and demand in the pilot market.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 17:37
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Already happened. CAA man said today that they will allow EASA licence holders to fly G reg aircraft commercially, no time was given but probably their 'up to two years'. Also the papers left out a paragraph "“We urge potential pilots to get experience in another profession first which will postpone any training until the industry is in a more robust shape, provide additional skills and experience and also give them another avenue to fall back on. For anyone that still wants to proceed they should consider the Modular training route which does provide the opportunity to learn and work in other fields”.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 17:57
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dns
 
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At the age of 38 I'm finally within half a chance of being able to get my Class 1 and commit to the training.

I've no idea what to do now, I'm too old to just wait a few years for things to pick up
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 18:39
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DNS: I don’t know really what to say. There is no escaping the fact it is the worst crisis in aviation history. The likely hood of jobs being available after training is very slim and there will be many experienced and probably still rated pilots. I think you know all of that anyway. My only advice would be that you don’t put yourself in debt to do this. If you do don’t put yourself in so much debt that you loose your home (if you own or mortgage one) if you don’t get a flying job. If you have the cash in the bank then roll the dice once you weigh it all up. You sound like a sensible individual and I am sure you will do what’s right for you. Good luck
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 18:54
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If flying is your passion and you canít think of doing anything else do it slowly and the modular way. This will save you money if youíre working or studying on the side. I started training (modular) after the 1st gulf war when there were no jobs around either. Finished 3 years later when things started improving and got a job pretty much straight away. Although this looks like being a much bigger crisis no one knows the future. If they find a vaccine that really works things could change dramatically. I have the impression that once people feel safe to travel again thereís going to be an enormous demand. Letís all hope that this shall pass soon!
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 19:26
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dns

No, 38 is not too old - and another couple of years would make no difference even if you were!

Agree with Bex here. Theres no right or wrong answer; and the best time to start training will be a gamble. Personally, I'd not want to start training for at least another year and re-evaluate then. Add to that 15 months or so for training, and your talking nearly 2.5 years from now before your looking for work. The skills you pay all that money to learn at flight school are very perishable and you really don't want to come out into several years of unemployent.

Most important of all - do not get suckered in by the flight schools. They're great salesman, and its easy to believe what you want to hear. They're not on your side and just want your money.

Good luck!
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 20:32
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A bit of pep talk to our future colleagues who understandably find this very disheartening...

Don't take the current situation as the end of the world. Things are bad now, but they won't be this way forever. You haven't had your dream taken away from you. Nobody is telling you not to become a pilot altogether. All you are advised in favour of is - revise the timing. If you're now at high school, apply for uni and go modular alongside your degree. Or learn a trade and build your customer portfolio while going along the modular route, paying for everything off your own back as you go and graduating completely free of debt.

On the grand scheme of things, 3 or 5 years do not matter all that much. If you get your licence at age 25 instead of age 20, you still have 40 years worth of flying ahead of you. The delay due to the current situation is a drop in the sea, as compared to the amount of working life you've got ahead of you. Plan your work, work the plan and stay motivated. You'll get there - and society will eventually be relying on YOU to transport people and goods safely by air.
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 21:30
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My view

dns

I honestly think that you are too old to be starting a career in aviation, I started at 33 and that was sometime back. You will be 40 when finished training approx. and this is a tough business and recruiters prefer younger single people who dont have family commitments and can drop everything to work another flight. The BALPA article is a good, easyjet and all airlines have dumped loads of pilots and that is the end of it for them and they are all in their 20s who got on an airline program.

Saying that if it is something that you want to do and you can afford to spend the money and not get the investment back and never get a job then it is good to have tried that and achieved that but if its all you have and you have kids dont do it!
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Old 6th Nov 2020, 23:37
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PilotLZ

It’s much worse than this unfortunately.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 02:35
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PilotLZ

The Airline industry for the time being is considered to be environmentally unacceptable.
Aircraft will be semi-Autonomous within 15 to 20 years.
There is a worldwide glut of Pilots which may take a decade to overcome.

If you have a passion about flying then do it. If you want a rewarding career then try something else.

I've been flying for 40 years. My Children all have different careers.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 08:15
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You are right polax. The green lobby has aviation in its sights backed up globally by ill informed politicians, ok my view. Flying has been a wonderful career and also a great hobby. If anyone commences flight training , definitely modular, enjoy the ride. At all costs avoid forking out large sums of money to the integrated schools up front. Balpa are wise to issue this warning. Too many bad stories now of crazy levels of debt and limited jobs with limited salaries. A sad state of affairs.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 08:31
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I've had cause to over some of BALPA's advice, articles and advertising in "The Log" with regard careers for some time now so I'm glad to see they have at last stuck stuck their heads above the parapet on this issue.

I have my reservations about the time scale associated with semi-autonomous airliners, but that aside I very much agree what olster, bex and others have said.

Oh and as clvf88 most importantly states:

Most important of all - do not get suckered in by the flight schools. They're great salesman, and its easy to believe what you want to hear. They're not on your side and just want your money.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 08:57
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For those caught up in this maelstrom on the modular route and are deep into the exams (perhaps with some hour building complete?) you are clearly in an invidious position.
No prospect of any job until a C-19 vaccine is fully rolled out, and confidence is being restored.

Beware of the snake oil salesmen goes without saying.
One thought might be to complete the CPL/IR but on a single engined ac for licence issue.

Leave the multi engined flying with ME/IR & MCC until there are signs of recruitment for wannabes.
Those experienced pilots laid off will invariably be ahead of you in the queue.

By delaying these two items, you will be current and ideally placed for the interview and sim ride.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 10:14
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That's indeed a smart suggestion, parkfell. I fully second it. Single-engine is cheaper to keep current - and there's some chance you might get to do some single-engine flying as a weekend job. Glider towing for a gliding club maybe? Gliding club members don't get paid for any job they do, be it flight instruction or towing (at least in the UK), so it will be more of a hobby than anything else - but at least you will keep current, build some time and, most importantly, stay motivated. MEP is useless unless you are applying for your first type rating. There are relatively few MEP aircraft around, they're very expensive to run and insure and a novice is extremely unlikely to be trusted with flying one of them in a non-training environment. So, if you're not an experienced GA pilot already, you can forget about the MEP rating being anything other than an expense. And it would better be fresh at the time of your airline application.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 13:03
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I think parkfell's suggestion is very sound advice for any pilots who have started training and do want to continue.

BALPA are inundated with requests from sacked pilots so they realize that the market has been absolutely destroyed!!!!

BALPA has always been on the fence in the past but I think it is great they are doing the right think and showing what the majority of people think so listen to a union that is looking after pilots rather than some school just lying through their teeth to get your money.

So if any student/parent who is unsure listen to the union!
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 14:14
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Originally Posted by PilotLZ View Post
Add to this the big question of how internationally recognisable will British licences be in a post-Brexit world. Insurance is the true bugger with that. As much as the UK has been known to have very high standards of flight training ever since, if the insurance provider says "UK CAA is not equivalent to EASA" - there go your chances of a job abroad without exchanging your ticket for a different authority.
What a load of nonsense
Have you ever flown abroad? Have a look at the makeup of the pilot group and licences accepted in the sandpit for starters. Your assertion that a UK licence wouldn't be recognised outside the UK or would be un-insurable is palpable nonsense.
Given EASA FTL's are amongst some of the worst in any developed country, maybe insurance companies will pull the plug?

The UK CAA allowing the use of an EASA licence for atleast 2yrs, is eminentally sensible pragmatism. It gives airlines, plenty of time to sort out licencing going forward
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 16:03
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dns
 
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Maybe I'll be the one lone cadet at one of those flight schools.

Covid (rather the insane covid restrictions) has destroyed my current career anyway, but I've got the money saved to do my ATPL so might as well do it. If I don't do it now, I'll never get to!

Thanks for the advice, but for all our sakes I hope you're wrong.
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