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Shall I train to be a Pilot?

Old 6th Nov 2020, 22:22
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Shall I train to be a Pilot?

Hi all, I just wanted to post what I and many others think the reality of the situation is.

I hear alot of the UK modular flight schools saying now is the best time to train with one particular one in the Midlands putting out false advertising on their website.

Starting to train now is not a good idea! This advertising is 100% FALSE. I know personally one of the main recruitment team members for BA and they are not expecting any sort of recovery for 6-7 years and any recruitment will be from the pilots they sacked who are in a holding pool while they are working elsewhere, these are not cadets, they are A320 type rated pilots who have been flying for years.

FACT CHECK
Here is some of the reality (numbers approx), are loads more, is a recent article from BALPA saying job losses are 10,000 approx, also seen another article that it is more than 15,000, this is Europe alone and I have missed loads of airlines out and numbers reported are often lower than they are, NO ONE knows the actual truth unless they work in the airline:

Approx Pilot Losses

1961 Norwegian
120 pilots at Jet2
295 SAS
349 SunExpress
313 Icelandair
300 BA (over 10,000 job cuts in total)
235 Wizzair
226 CityJet
212 Air Italy
95 Ryanair
185 Air Baltic
200 Lufthansa
120 Brussles Airlines
170 CAE Parc
55 Airtanker
30 Belgium
150 LaudaAir
400 Cathay (8,500 in total)

Monarch Airlines, 35 aircraft, c500 pilots (2,300 total employees) ceased trading October 2017
Thomas Cook, 117 aircraft, c1,000 pilots (9,000 UK employees and 29,000 employees worldwide) ceased trading September 2019
Flybe, 80 aircraft, c750 pilots, (2,500 total employees) ceased trading March 2020

Trans Airlines (USA) ceased trading March 2020
Compass Airlines (USA) ceased trading March 2020
Virgin Australia ceased trading April 2020
Avianca (Columbia) filed for bankruptcy

Also gone under in 2019
  • Adria Airways (Slovenia)
  • Air Philip (South Korea)
  • Aerolineas de Antioquia (Colombia)
  • Aigle Azur (France)
  • Al Naser Wings Airline (Iraq)
  • Asian Express Airline (Tajikistan)
  • Avianca Argentina (Argentina)
  • Avianca Brazil (Brazil)
If that isnt enough, look at the aircraft parked in the dessert it is full of BIG aircraft 777s and A380s, I heard that Emirates have just sacked another 300 A380 pilots, its complete and utter carnage! For pilots that have kept their job, serious paycuts on allowances etc.

My current company has cancelled all business travel for 12-18 months minimum, shut down an office which used to hold 3,000 people and made everyone home based and use Zoom for calls etc. COVID has vastly accelerated the death of the high street and home working beyond what anyone was expecting. Business travel is unlikely to recover EVER, the CEO of Barclays said home working is going to be the future and we will need to travel less. Flights will be for holidays of course and cargo will increase as online shopping reaches new levels and people are more conscious of damage to environment so fly less before 2020 happened!

On top of this a UK licence and its status needs some time to work out how it fits into the new Europe and indeed post COVID world.

Spending 70,000-120,000 on pilot training is a very poor investment so do yourself and your family a favor, spend your hard earned cash on another career and see how the land lies in at least 5 years.

If you are a parent dont put yourself through it many better stable careers out there, you will dodge a bullet!
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 02:47
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OK, but in fairness to those flying schools, they are also trying to stay in business, and the people who work for them also want to take home a pay cheque next month. All businesses put a spin on a downturn and suggest that “Now is a great time” to buy whatever it is that they are selling. That is just the nature of the beast. You would have to be very optimistic to see any movement in this market in the next few years and probably much longer. It isn’t the current disaster where the real problem lies, it is what happens when recovery comes, and it will come.

There is likely to be a severe rationalisation and streamlining in most companies. Many of those airliners flown to the desert were on a one way journey, This damage means that companies, individuals and governments are living on the back of their credit cards. Those bills are going to have to be paid. Demand is likely to be very depressed for a significant portion of the decade. Wages are going to reflect the new supply / demand realities. The cost of putting somebody in the right hand seat (either seat actually, but as it relates to this forum,) is going to go through the floor. Pilots with real experience are going to be queuing up outside the door for quite some time. Recovery is going bring a whole world of new realities, and I think those realities are going to come as a shock to many people who price this category of labour at the level it was last year or anytime in the last 20 years!

”Experience” is going to be the new reality, and it is likely to be a bargain for the airlines. Even those folk who plan on returning to their previous employers when conditions improve are being very optimistic if they think their remuneration is going to be anywhere near where it was before.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 07:36
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Originally Posted by Bealzebub View Post
OK, but in fairness to those flying schools, they are also trying to stay in business, and the people who work for them also want to take home a pay cheque next month.
I'd call it a fraud.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 09:03
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I would call it capitalism. When you buy cigarettes in the shop, does the shop keeper tell you "better don't, mate, they're really harmful"? Same goes for flight schools. A training organisation doesn't sell jobs, it only sells vocational training. If you feel like buying their product, nobody is going to ask for your reasoning about it.

And, as for the adverts of "there has never been a better time to train" - everyone needs to accept that there's nothing to substantiate those words in bad and good times alike. The same was said back in 2018 and 2019, when aviation was booming. So what? Those who started back then and are graduating now find themselves with no job prospects anytime soon. There are only good times to finish training, but there's never a good time to start as you never know what will the market look like once you have finished. It's a gamble - and you need to be financially prepared for it. I.e. don't do anything stupid like remortgaging the family house and have an alternative plan of making a living if flying turns out not to be an option for a long time after you get the ticket.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 09:21
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A health warning written clearly on the packet is a legal requirement. False advertising is not legal.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 09:48
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Originally Posted by PilotLZ View Post
I would call it capitalism. When you buy cigarettes in the shop, does the shop keeper tell you "better don't, mate, they're really harmful"? Same goes for flight schools. A training organisation doesn't sell jobs, it only sells vocational training. If you feel like buying their product, nobody is going to ask for your reasoning about it.
Health risks are explained both on the packet and in health campaigns. And I'm sure the shop keeper is not saying:"smoking is good for your health"...
If that's not enough, ATOs are making ACTIVE marketing with that slogan, luring young people into a very expensive circle.

False advertising is the use of false, misleading, or unproven information to advertise products to consumers. The advertising frequently does not disclose its source.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 10:04
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Caveat Emptor. The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has issued unprecedented advice.... I suggest anyone undecided checks it out.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 10:12
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Just in case anybody missed it:

" Release date: 05/11/2020

The pilot’s union, BALPA, has issued a warning to everyone who is thinking about embarking on a pilot training course – think again. BALPA has taken this extraordinary step to help avoid students paying upwards of 100,000 for training only to find there are no jobs available at the end.

Wendy Pursey, Head of Membership and Careers Services at BALPA said, “There are currently 10,000 unemployed commercial pilots across Europe including 1,600 pilots in the UK. Many pilots are working part time or on reduced pay to save jobs. And there are already around 200 trainees in flight training schools who were on a path to jobs with easyJet who now have no clear route to even a licence, far less a job.

“This is not a positive picture for anyone whose heart is set on entering this profession. There will be fewer jobs, with more people competing for each one even once this pandemic is over.

“In this situation it would be irresponsible if we did anything other than warn people to consider delaying their flight training at this time”

“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”.


Associated mainstream media article:

https://www.theguardian.com/business...ope-unemployed
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 10:15
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I agree with PilotLZ (as usual). Even though his example was not 100% proper, the idea is axactly the same. The shop owner does not advertise cigarettes in this case, only because there is a law stopping him from doing so (obviously because it is damaging to the health, not just the pocket - as the case is with training). How about car manufacturers then? They are still selling and promoting diesels and petrol burners, even though we ALL know that their days are numbered (AND they are harmful to the environment and to our health). If one still wants to buy any of them - for their own reasons, by all means they can go ahead and do so. There is nothing stopping them, even though for most of the others it would be a stupid idea.
This is capitalism, this is business. The dealer, the flying school, the real estate agent, the whoever salesman, will always try to sell to stay alive in the business. It's up to the "buyer" to assess and decide, and there's nothing that one can do other than offer some kind advise, and yet is only according to his/her judgement.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 10:32
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Originally Posted by TheBat View Post
How about car manufacturers then? They are still selling and promoting diesels and petrol burners, even though we ALL know that their days are numbered (AND they are harmful to the environment and to our health). If one still wants to buy any of them - for their own reasons, by all means they can go ahead and do so. There is nothing stopping them, even though for most of the others it would be a stupid idea.
Please explain to us why a car dealer selling petrol cars should be guilty of false advertising.

Originally Posted by TheBat View Post
This is capitalism, this is business. The dealer, the flying school, the real estate agent, the whoever salesman, will always try to sell to stay alive in the business. It's up to the "buyer" to assess and decide, and there's nothing that one can do other than offer some kind advise, and yet is only according to his/her judgement.
No, it is not. This is just false advertising and/or a fraud.

I suggest anyone to do the following when talking to salesmen:
1. Find out if in the country you're in it is legal to record a conversation without informing the person(s) you're talking with
2. Download a recording app on your phone
3. Start recording before entering the meeting
4. Stop recording when you're alone
5. Save and backup your file

If the recording is legal you'll be able to use it in both civil and penal trials.
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Old 7th Nov 2020, 14:05
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Theholdingpoint The point of this thread was to help students/parents who were thinking of investing (wasting) money on flight training, lets keep the discussion on that. Thank you.
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 18:05
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I have no idea how Theholdingpoint came up with that conclusion on his reply to me. Nowhere in my post did I say nor implied anything about fraud or false advertising, when I was talking about car dealers, estate agents, etc. Oh, well...

Back to the original subject of this thread:
I couldn't agree more with what DontBeStupid says, although I believe (and hope) that the recovery will come slightly sooner.
Even though I am one of the lucky few who still have a flying job, I would certainly strongly advise against taking this path atm. If someone insists (and I was talking to one like that the other day), I would say that they should get a degree or something similar (or keep their current jobs), and re-think the whole thing in 2-3 years time, when the picture will be a lot clearer. There's nothing to loose in the meantime. Even then, I would advise a slow modular path, since Integrated is a very different story and certainly a no-no.
Flying schools can say whatever they like, as long as they are not promising anything that they cannot actually deliver. They can bull**** all day long. Anyone with the right mind can assess the current situation and make his/her own conclusions and decisions. But yes, my advice is the opposite of the famous sport goods campaign: DON'T DO IT (now).
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 18:27
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If you really want to do it, then (assuming you’re in the U.K.) shop around the flying clubs and do a PPL, IMC and night rating for about 12k in an old C150, get a share in something cheap or negotiate a deal for hours building, self study for the CPL exams, and then get an instructors rating. Spread that over two or three years and you can then start getting paid to fly and it will have cost you about 30k if you’re careful. Keep instructing and work at your day job, and then to a CBIR and eventually the CPL and the other stuff part time when the market starts to pick up. Don’t even think about giving up a job /career for a full time integrated course, what ever the big schools might say...
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Old 8th Nov 2020, 18:56
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Following on from excrab’s post above, I would sound a another serious note of caution.

if you have a six figure sum to invest, then invest it somewhere traditional where hopefully it might grow or keep pace with future inflation.

Get a foothold in aviation with a PPL and perhaps an associated rating or two.

Don’t be lulled by the idea that a CPL and 250 hours is going to have you at the head of the queue when airlines start recruiting again. It won’t! It never really has, and it has the potential to work adversely to your career goals depending on what you want and what eventually comes out of this mess.

Airlines are going to pick up “experience” for a song for the foreseeable future. As and when cadet programmes next become a part of the landscape, it will undoubtably be little changed in format from where they have been for the last 60 years! These programmes take people through the full time programmes that eventually (and hopefully) deposit them in the right hand seat of an airliner. Having a CPL would normally preclude you from such programmes.

if you want a CPL then go for it, but be mindful of the realities of what you are likely to be able to do with it and 250 hours in your logbook. I’ve been saying that for the last 15 years here, but it now becomes particularly poignant! My advice would be to keep your powder dry and your money firmly tucked away somewhere. When the market evolves its way out of this, there will be sufficient lead time to make careful and better informed choices.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 06:21
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Certainly with helicopters, a CPL(H) is not enough - you need a specialist skill on top.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 07:23
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TheBat

Are you jocking?

Originally Posted by TheBat
I agree with PilotLZ
Just FYI he had just written a great example of false advertising used by ATOs.
DontBeStupid and the advice was: record every meeting/conversation you do with the flight school if that's legal in the country you're in.
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 13:30
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Unfortunately I am one of those aspiring to be cadets or pilots of whatever thing that flies and allows you to live by it, in the medium term...

What if breaking news such as the one we got today (Pfizer's vaccine 90% effectiveness), changes everything upside down? I am not saying this will be a 100% salvation nor seeing everything positive now, but I think we must all be pretty aware that any forecast we dare to anticipate, is kind of inaccurate and adventurous.
Will aviation recover to levels from 2019? Probably at some point in a couple of years, but if by any chance we happen to have a safe, effective and worldwide-available vaccine, we might as well see the light at the end of the tunnel in maybe 2 years time?
In my own case, I am already in my early thirties, and everyday I think it might be too late for me to pursue my dream. But as stubborn/gullible I might sound, I prefer not to forget about achieving my dream one day....

Best,
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Old 9th Nov 2020, 16:54
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Theholdingpoint

I do not know which law school you have attended, and I don't care anyway.
You expressed your opinion on the subject of this thread, but then you keep drifting away from it. Bad!
Moderators should take action and clean this thread (including this post).
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Old 13th Nov 2020, 10:43
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CAE has a different view on future pilot demand: Link
Pilot demand outlook
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Old 13th Nov 2020, 10:54
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27,000 pilots needed worldwide in 2021 is quite close to CAE’s projection of 264,000 pilots needed worldwide over the next 10 years!

Sounds wonderful until you do the maths. Now I appreciate there are a lot of small nations and in aviation demand terms quite insignificant, but that is balanced by some very large and high demand countries. There are 195 countries in the world.

264,000 divided by 520 (weeks in 10 years) brings that number down to 507.
Divide that 507 by 195 countries and the number comes down to 2.6

Obviously that number needs proportionality weighting for each countries realistic demand, however Two and a half pilots a week per country doesn’t sound quite as exciting, I am guessing that’s why they chose the figure they did?


(sorry....echo from another thread!)
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