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Our son wants to be an airline pilot... I have some questions :)

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Our son wants to be an airline pilot... I have some questions :)

Old 14th May 2022, 17:16
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alaska
Posts: 131
T Father,
All good advice and food for thought from the previous reply's.
Have you or your son given any thought to the US route? I took that route back in 1971 and I was able to achieve my goals in both fix wing and helicopters over a 50 year career. Take a look at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, just another option for both of you. Just to sound like a broken record: Get a medical first!!! Also bear in mind that some medical problems can be overcome with both waivers and acceptable medications so don't total throw away your dreams.
The very very best of luck to your son.
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Old 14th May 2022, 18:53
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Originally Posted by Ivan aromer View Post
Apply to Jet2, they have there pilot apprentice scheme, which was quite successful when I was there.
This is a great way into the company, but unfortunately you need an fATPL first - they won't train anyone to fly.
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Old 14th May 2022, 21:10
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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There is nothing wrong with wanting to be a professional pilot, but as people have pointed out, it’s not without it’s issues, particularly the debt incurred. If the boy just wants to fly, then it might be worth just doing the PPL and flying for fun. Flying when he wants to and not when he has to. Flying when the weather is nice and not miserable. He’ll still be a pilot and no one will think less of him because he doesn’t fly large jets.

Even with a PPL, you can achieve quite a bit when you have instrument and multi engine ratings.

As he is already going down the PPL route, I would recommend an intensive course, somewhere the weather is nice. I went to Texas to learn and did the course in three weeks. It would have taken months in the UK and was significantly cheaper. Of course, I still had lots to learn, but once I had the licence, I could Fly at my convenience and not have to rely on others to build hours.

I will say he is lucky to have a father so interested in his career and is prepared to solicit advice on his behalf. I hope it works out for him, whatever route he takes.
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Old 14th May 2022, 21:22
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
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You should also consider the environmentalists who want to tear down any form of aviation.
I would recommend a serious training or education in a completely different and very reliable field, such as anything related to food, health, defence, logistics, or raw materials...
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Old 15th May 2022, 00:44
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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When paying for courses etc, do it on a card so you will have some cover if the company goes bust.
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Old 15th May 2022, 06:33
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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My prediction is driverless aircraft on the market within 10 years time. First electric velocopter, then some sort of cargo drone and eventually autonomous passenger planes. Maybe with some poor lonely guy sitting in front of a couple of screens imposing as a "pilot".

Airlines in turn will be able to recruit less educated, cheaper "pilots". Think of a barely literate Uber driver from East Europe following blindly the company GPS instead of your black cab cockney chap with "the knowledge" exam under his belt.

I am aware I sound gloomy, but whatever your outlook, even the most pilot-centric individual would just have to admit that automation will happen and significantly (further) reduce responsibility, difficulty and range of action.

Like it or not, AI will lead to replacement of any operator of machines, or ( even worse) degrade operators to an extra. This is the future, it is inevitable.

I am a senior long haul captain and never had a really bad employer, no accident, no divorce, always well paid, at times even excellent. But was it all worth it? I struggled with expat life and extreme boredom, jet lag, mediocre hotels and lack of social life due to difficult work patterns and many relocations. Still, I am not bitter ( I think) , just extremely pessimistic on the future of this industry. I told my son early on I will finance him any education he likes except flight school.

Last edited by Sam Ting Wong; 15th May 2022 at 06:48.
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Old 15th May 2022, 06:48
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kelowna Wine Country
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I have read and enjoyed all the comments on here and I am probably going to earn the ire of all these fine guys by commenting. (I am not a professional pilot.)
At 18 I went for selection for a flying scholarship. My father was a pilot, my stepfather was a pilot and I went to a school where the RAF and flying were almost a tradition. After all the tests I was informed I was colour blind. Actually daltonic, just red/green.
I have had (and I hope continue) a wonderful life, a PPL and eventually built my own aircraft but reading the way the pilots who had the career of which I was deprived describe their lives makes me feel they sound like a bunch of spoiled brats. If they hated it so much why didn't they leave? Maybe the only serious regret in my life.
Three of my sons went the military route. One is out, one comes out in a couple of months, the other may stay in, or not. I have to say they have all gained life long friends, something they didn't do at school or at college and their training, while frustrating at times, has been outstanding.
If your son really wants to fly he should find a way and you should support him but do not go into debt for him. I didn't, I wouldn't and neither should you. He wants it bad enough he'll do it on his own.
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Old 15th May 2022, 07:01
  #48 (permalink)  

 
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Chris - for many, the flying is the icing on the cake for the nonsense you have to put up with. I love flying helicopters, especially on a clear day in Canada when the trees are changing colour, but I don't like eating rotten food provided by contractors to the Forestry trying to make a buck on my back. Aviation is an industry largely influenced by non-experts. Tio get the best out of it, you need a position where you have a measure of control, as with the military. But it's not restricted to aviation - my brother tells me that trucking is not much different.
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Old 15th May 2022, 07:57
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
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A few easyjet facts here regarding training and costs.

https://becomeapilot.easyjet.com/

https://www.cae.com/civil-aviation/b...ing-programme/
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Old 15th May 2022, 08:45
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Europe
Posts: 80
I'm not a pilot. I am an engineer and for all sorts of reasons know a bit about what goes on. I know two youngsters who are training to be pilots at the moment:

- The first is from a wealthy family (i.e. UK upper-middle class). The parents are supporting the child to go through an aviation-related degree and also paying for them to do the integrated course, plus buying the child a rather smart car in the driveway. And living at home, costly holidays, etc etc. Essentially the family are seeking to buy the child a fully-assured pathway into a high status white-collar career. Other families put their kids through medical school or law school for the same reason, in this instance it is piloting.

- The second is not from a wealthy family. Took their school exams then moved out of home at age of 18 (plus one day !), into lodgings. Selected the lodgings to be close to cheap (but good) flying school and cheap lodgings, so is about 80-miles away from parents. Immediately started paying their own way in life by cleaning toilets (domestic house cleaner) and used the spare cash to go the modular route, bought their own (small, old, cheap) car. Worked and studied all hours, ferociously determined to be a pilot and to do it on their own. Zero parental support - the parents have never visited us (we happen to be the lodgings). As you can imagine this got noticed and within a year the local airline had taken them on for aviation-related airport (ground) work so was able to cut back on cleaning toilets, whilst still studying and paying their own way on the modular track

It is not the rich child's fault to be a rich child. But I have utmost respect for the second youngster. All things being equal I know I'd hire the second one over the first. But all things are not equal and the first may be able to ride out the financial economic cycles and be in the right place at the right time with the right connections in a way that the second one may not be able to. I've seen it work both ways over the years, sometimes life is not fair.

So - as others have said - it can be done, but have a plan B.

Meanwhile us engineers are doing our best to eliminate aircrew and to deskill them and to make them cheaper. That is an ongoing and longstanding trajectory - flight engineers and radio officers and navigators have gone and I expect that pilots per plane will reduce to one during the career duration of your son, perhaps to none.

In addition climate change issues are a very real concern. It is not popular to mention this around here, but the growth in aviation that has taken place since WW2 is (imho) unlikely to continue in the same way. That is going to cause a career crunch at some point.

Lastly, as others have mentioned your sone would be well advised to try to be on both sides of the UK/EU licencing regime.
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Old 15th May 2022, 09:15
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: FL, USA
Posts: 2,950
Your son has two things:

The privilege of time.
The privilege of changing his mind.

He’s 18, the chances of him changing his mind as far as a career path are at the very least 50/50. He may or he may not.
If he does you don’t want to be looking at paying off a £50k-£80k debt…or more.
Consider the privilege of time and pick an almost arbitrary year, 25.
That means he has 7 years to achieve his current goals which makes him a perfect candidate for modular training.
Current PPL, some time building in the US or Canada or South Africa next year.
Instrument rating somewhere 3 years from now, take 2 years for the ATPL exams.
Send him off to college or university and just keep up the flying in between with priorities given to advanced education.
He’ll have a degree and be ready to start applying for flying jobs anywhere in the world at 25 and with some planning mostly debt free.
Nothing is for free in life so he should get part time jobs to at least pay for a portion of it himself. How much is up to the two of you to decide.
A part time job that pays $€£500/month means 6000/year means every two years he can do the next license/certificate or rating with some financial help from you.
I can elaborate more if you wish but that would be my recommendation.
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Old 15th May 2022, 10:21
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 248
Bristow are currently recruiting cadet pilots for their helicopter operations and they fund the training (except living costs), in the UK they fly to/from the oil rigs in the North Sea and also provide Search and Rescue capability.

https://www.flyheli.co.uk/bristow/

Prior to the pandemic, Aer Lingus ran a fully sponsored pilot training programme from around 2015-2019, I have no idea if/when it will re-open.

The US currently has a very strong recruitment market though in the UK/Europe it doesn't look like a good time to start training to me. We have very high energy prices, increases in the cost of living and I wouldn't be surprised if we see a recession in the next 18 months. Essential living costs will take priority over holidays and now that businesses have become much more accustomed to remote working, I can see a lot of them very quickly cutting business travel to save costs.

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Old 15th May 2022, 12:19
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: The Swan Downunder
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
@ Sam Ting Wong: Yes, nowadays terms and conditions are terrible, the pay and duty hours are terrible and - pilots and their union are terrible at standing up for themselves to get improvements.

But when actually airborne, I have a very positive mind set. Even when I am flying long-haul, for hours over the ocean, I think to myself "Here I am, in control of a superb, really advanced aircraft, with superb, really advanced triple spool Rolls Royce engines, flying to XYZ, how cool is that?" During quiet times I might read something technical, such as a subject in the FCTM or Airbus Safety First, or whatever - just to add to my knowledge. At night I might look at the stars, planets and the Space station going over.

On short-haul there are positives too, if you look for them.

If you are regularly seriously tired, something is wrong with your pre-flight preparation, by which I mean your sleep 'hygiene'; perhaps review that and make some changes to ensure enough sleep. Also check with your GP. I went to my GP after just scraping through a recurrent Sim once, which I normally don't have a problem with, and to my great surprise he told me I was very stressed and he signed me off work for 2 weeks there and then. I was totally shocked because I didn't feel stressed at all.
I hate to burst your bubble, but you sound like the classic diligent job first career pilot that truly believes your a valued employee. I truly hope you don't get to discover the truth that your just a number and no-one will notice if you don't turn up tomorrow before you retire. After about two years they won't even remember your name.
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Old 15th May 2022, 12:36
  #54 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Originally Posted by Sam Ting Wong View Post
My prediction is driverless aircraft on the market within 10 years time. First electric velocopter, then some sort of cargo drone and eventually autonomous passenger planes. Maybe with some poor lonely guy sitting in front of a couple of screens imposing as a "pilot".

Airlines in turn will be able to recruit less educated, cheaper "pilots". Think of a barely literate Uber driver from East Europe following blindly the company GPS instead of your black cab cockney chap with "the knowledge" exam under his belt.

I am aware I sound gloomy, but whatever your outlook, even the most pilot-centric individual would just have to admit that automation will happen and significantly (further) reduce responsibility, difficulty and range of action.

Like it or not, AI will lead to replacement of any operator of machines, or ( even worse) degrade operators to an extra. This is the future, it is inevitable.

I am a senior long haul captain and never had a really bad employer, no accident, no divorce, always well paid, at times even excellent. But was it all worth it? I struggled with expat life and extreme boredom, jet lag, mediocre hotels and lack of social life due to difficult work patterns and many relocations. Still, I am not bitter ( I think) , just extremely pessimistic on the future of this industry. I told my son early on I will finance him any education he likes except flight school.
Looks like your moniker should really be "Sam Ting Wight"!

On a broader front, I'm very impressed with the high standard of advice being offered across the board to a very sensible sounding parent.

Jack
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Old 15th May 2022, 13:34
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
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Originally Posted by Xeptu View Post
I hate to burst your bubble, but you sound like the classic diligent job first career pilot that truly believes your a valued employee. I truly hope you don't get to discover the truth that your just a number and no-one will notice if you don't turn up tomorrow before you retire. After about two years they won't even remember your name.
Ha ha ! Thank you, but don't worry - I am very diligent, but am older than you presumably think I am and have had two full and different careers. The first one was not aviation related, the second involved full-time employment in four UK airlines.

In recent years my colleagues and I were made redundant from the last two of these - both respected UK short and long-haul fleeted airlines - owing to them both going out of business one after the other. I was on front line flying since soon after my PPRuNe join date, so have experienced flying generally going down hill, in terms of worsening pay, worsening T's & C's, longer duties and greater fatigue etc. In the first of the two defunct airlines, I was in absolutely no doubt about being valued or remembered by anyone ! My 'bubble' has been burst many times already !!

I just find it very important to be positive and enjoy whatever you do for work and if not; to move on.

(For what it's worth, I am currently freelancing back in my first career, to keep the wolf from the door, and this year am in strong demand I am very pleased to say ).
.

Last edited by Uplinker; 15th May 2022 at 13:49.
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Old 15th May 2022, 13:36
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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It was just a matter of time, this thread is starting to derail from disgruntled pilots (I am one of them btw!)
The advice so far has been of high quality, let's keep in that way. Lock the thread if necessary. I think the objective has been reached.
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Old 15th May 2022, 14:46
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Originally Posted by ChrisVJ View Post
...but reading the way the pilots who had the career of which I was deprived describe their lives makes me feel they sound like a bunch of spoiled brats. If they hated it so much why didn't they leave? Maybe the only serious regret in my life.
You find this attitude a lot amongst pilots who've never had a "normal" job: Their definition of normal is just so far removed from reality that they'll complain about being fatigued whilst pulling in 6 figures. Because they've only ever seen the world from one perspective they simply don't comprehend how lucky they are. The guys who worked their asses off in various jobs in order to become a pilot tend to be a bit more appreciative.
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Old 15th May 2022, 16:14
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: N/A
Age: 45
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ALWAYS try Military first:
1) It provides by far the coolest most fun flying there is
2) It provides friends for life
3) It is Free! You actually GET payed.
4) Transition from military to civilian can be done later, will be cheaper and you bring a lot of experience..👍
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Old 15th May 2022, 18:37
  #59 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
Ha ha ! Thank you, but don't worry - I am very diligent, but am older than you presumably think I am and have had two full and different careers. The first one was not aviation related, the second involved full-time employment in four UK airlines.

In recent years my colleagues and I were made redundant from the last two of these - both respected UK short and long-haul fleeted airlines - owing to them both going out of business one after the other. I was on front line flying since soon after my PPRuNe join date, so have experienced flying generally going down hill, in terms of worsening pay, worsening T's & C's, longer duties and greater fatigue etc. In the first of the two defunct airlines, I was in absolutely no doubt about being valued or remembered by anyone ! My 'bubble' has been burst many times already !!

I just find it very important to be positive and enjoy whatever you do for work and if not; to move on.

(For what it's worth, I am currently freelancing back in my first career, to keep the wolf from the door, and this year am in strong demand I am very pleased to say ).
.
Yep that's about my experience and memory of it too. I'm concerned for the ones that came into the Industry over the last 20 years (precovid post /911) during the boom time and were lucky enough to get the dream run. They think that's the norm and how it is, it is their experience that has so much influence on the wannabee pilot and those like the OP. As for getting out as someone else mentioned, that's a big deal after being in it for a time, years taken verses income, it's a case of not viable to do anything else.
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Old 15th May 2022, 23:06
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2018
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Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
You find this attitude a lot amongst pilots who've never had a "normal" job: Their definition of normal is just so far removed from reality that they'll complain about being fatigued whilst pulling in 6 figures. Because they've only ever seen the world from one perspective they simply don't comprehend how lucky they are. The guys who worked their asses off in various jobs in order to become a pilot tend to be a bit more appreciative.
Too right. I find it absolutely hilarious talking with senior captains who’ve never worked in another industry in their life and think they could earn the same money elsewhere with the same lifestyle.

I always tell them they are welcome to come pull cable or work in the roof crawl space with me on their days off. For apprentice wages.
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