Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Wannabes Forums > Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies)
Reload this Page >

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

Professional Pilot Training (includes ground studies) A forum for those on the steep path to that coveted professional licence. Whether studying for the written exams, training for the flight tests or building experience here's where you can hang out.

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

Old 16th May 2022, 05:26
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: earth
Posts: 1,098
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Itís actually a no brainer: Make a business plan


Initial investment (training and cost of living during training) (A)

Expected initial salary - > career -> top salary -> expected career duration. This leading to professional life income (B)

Expected lifestyle and its cost (C)



Expected pension funds (company/self) (D)

Expected retired lifestyle and its cost for 20 years (E)



B - A = C

E - D = F





If C and F remain in positive figures, give it a try.

But donít forget: In aviation there is a sacred rule, namely ďalways have an alternateĒ. This applies right from the beginning of your career!


glofish is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 06:41
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Behind 1480mm RHA equivalent
Posts: 674
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've been in the airline industry for nearly twenty years.

Here's my 2c, and the only part you really need to understand: The two people who's lives I value the most, above all others (my children) have been given the following STRONGLY worded advice on a career in airlines: NO. DON'T DO IT.

Enough has been said why in the thread, but I'll add my own little part: The sheer randomness of the career. People will tell you it's about effort and being proactive. Not in my experience. That's basically a given. Everybody who's made it has put in a lot of effort. Yet the career is still utterly random. When asked where a prospective candidate for employement sees themselves in an interview in other careers, the candidate may well be able to give a coherent, logical response on career progression. As a pilot? Well, in my experience the best answer you can give is "Employed. Hopefully as a pilot." The cyclical nature of the industry, medical requirements etc. meansyou could be out on the street at any time. It is BRUTAL on family and social life. Hobbies etc, things that you need fixed times for.......gone. People who didn't do this job, then whine about how pilots act like 'spoiled brats'.....well, you didn't do it. You simply don't know what you're talking about. And don't bring up some random example of one of the epicly good jobs in aviation, 99% will not get there, and it has little to do with lack of effort on their part, as I said, that is a given.

It's a great job - and a terrible career.
Shrike200 is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 07:46
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: UK
Posts: 460
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by glofish View Post
Itís actually a no brainer: Make a business plan


Initial investment (training and cost of living during training) (A)

Expected initial salary - > career -> top salary -> expected career duration. This leading to professional life income (B)

Expected lifestyle and its cost (C)



Expected pension funds (company/self) (D)

Expected retired lifestyle and its cost for 20 years (E)



B - A = C

E - D = F





If C and F remain in positive figures, give it a try.

But donít forget: In aviation there is a sacred rule, namely ďalways have an alternateĒ. This applies right from the beginning of your career!
You didn't define 'F' in the equations above. Here's my helpful suggestion:

'F' = F all.

pilotmike is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 08:09
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 2,046
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some previous posts make a good point too. Your son should get an alternative career, or at least an alternative skill and qualification before starting down the airline pilot route.

It always surprises me that many pilots have no other skill or ability, so they end up on a building site or driving a delivery van for pennies after being made redundant from the cockpit.

Just to reinforce what others are saying; don't believe the hype from flight schools. I don't know the exact figures, but out of every 100 students, maybe 30 will get onto the big shiny jets, and maybe 1 will get to be a rich Captain - certainly not all of them.

I would suggest that after passing his Class 1 EASA medical, your son does an aviation related degree, and/or applies to Airbus. He is very young so the actual airline flying can come later, and he will have his tech. career to pay his rent and support his loan for the frozen ATPL, and to fall back back on while waiting for that first pilot job opportunity.
Uplinker is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 08:10
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: WWW
Posts: 120
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would caution against going into aviation, itís not a real career, atleast in Europe.

The training is expensive, any time there is a downturn aviation gets destroyed, you risk losing your medical and the job has very few transferable skills. Even in the same industry your skills are mostly non transferable, if you were flying the 777 good luck applying for a job on the 320 or 737. There are far too many risks for too few rewards.

roll_over is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 08:23
  #66 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Handmaiden
 
Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,526
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lots of great advice, especially the one about getting a Class 1 medical. No, you don't have to go to an AME, you can look up the requirements online and ask your family doctor and optician to check things out.
Don't ignore the couple of elephants in the room, namely the environmentalists and the single pilot flight deck. Given the huge surge in demand as soon as the borders opened up, maybe that one will fade and also, there are a lot of smart engineers and chemists out there. Coupled with the possibility of short haul e-props, the future may be ok. As for the single pilot flight deck? It's coming. Just not exactly sure when but there are several serious projects under way. The UK ergonomics society put out a white paper about it in 2020. Worth a read.

I just spend a fun 6 days flying with a former BA pilot. We were chatting about the industry (naturally) and agreed that our sector (business jet ops) was probably the most interesting in commercial aviation.
We did run a cadet scheme in the past and may do so again in the future (no one knows). However, this side of commercial aviation is expanding rapidly. Much to Greta Thunberg's annoyance.

Definitely get some life exposure before signing up for a full time course, especially if it's a "tagged" scheme that leads straight to an airline job. You'll need something to talk about in the cruise. The advice about getting some skills in computing or a trade is very sound. You can always get a degree later (that's what I did).

As for the UK v EASA licence? There's a lot more jobs in EASA land than the UK. If you can, get both.
redsnail is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 08:33
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Hamshire
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well there's lots of good advice here already, but here is my 2p. I'm not a commercial pilot, but would have loved to have been one when I was 18. In retrospect though, I don't think it would have been a good life choice. (I do love flying, do have 300 hours gliding, which was enormous fun, and did have to stop for medical reasons, so that would have messed up the commercial flying career anyway).

Your son should think hard about what he wants to do. If he wants to be a commercial pilot, then ask himself why? It's a very specific goal. Or does he love flying ? That's a more general goal, and possibly more realisable? Does he love the tech of flying? Again, a more general goal. And in any case, whatever you think you want to do at 18, as you mature your goals and desires often change.

As others have said, he is young and that gives him great opportunity. Being bilingual is also an advantage on his peers. Why does he need to to rush to be in the seat of an A320 in his twenties? (apart from the general argument that if you don't put everything into achieving that goal it just may not make it all, as life's distractions get in the way). I would suggest that he thinks about (a) getting an Engineering degree related to Aviation (if he loves flying that ought to be an interesting thing to do), that he does as much flying as he can afford while he does that, maybe with some parental loans (sadly the degree cost a lot too....bum), and meanwhile tries various different types of flying where he can. Do as much of the modular route as he can, according to finances. Try some gliding, do the PPL route, maybe get to be flying instructor, go and look at the aviation engineering job market, go to flying clubs and talk to the instructors there who will have a wide range of experiences (at my gliding club there were military pilots, 747 pilots, a guy who lead part of the Airbus wing design team, and a guy who was the chief pilot for the British Antarctic survey - they were all just normal guys and eminently approachable). Talking is free and you can learn a lot that way about the aviation industry (and life in general). If the flying does not work out, having a degree is a good thing to have in terms of getting a job outside flying.

Finally, it's clearly bloody hard to become a commercial pilot these days. But tell him not to give up, just because it's hard. I was fortunate and went to Cambridge in the 70s to do engineering. I have a picture on my study wall of me in a rowing eight on the Cam. Sitting just behind me is a guy called Mike Foale, another engineer, who graduated a year later after me. He got a PPL shortly after he left Cambridge. Fifteen years later he flew as part of the crew of Space Shuttle STS 45, and eventually he flew six times in space. It just goes to show you can do anything you want, if you try hard enough and you are lucky enough to have the opportunities.
das180 is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 08:53
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Location, Location
Posts: 650
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
Some previous posts make a good point too. Your son should get an alternative career, or at least an alternative skill and qualification before starting down the airline pilot route.

It always surprises me that many pilots have no other skill or ability, so they end up on a building site or driving a delivery van for pennies after being made redundant from the cockpit.

Just to reinforce what others are saying; don't believe the hype from flight schools. I don't know the exact figures, but out of every 100 students, maybe 30 will get onto the big shiny jets, and maybe 1 will get to be a rich Captain - certainly not all of them.

I would suggest that after passing his Class 1 EASA medical, your son does an aviation related degree, and/or applies to Airbus. He is very young so the actual airline flying can come later, and he will have his tech. career to pay his rent and support his loan for the frozen ATPL, and to fall back back on while waiting for that first pilot job opportunity.
Yup.

I have been very lucky in that I left school and quickly worked my way up in two of the world's biggest airlines. Then COVID happened and I actually realised I had nothing to fall back on, no qualifications or previous career, and no real transferrable skills. I could probably make a very good train driver but that's about it, and I think I would get bored very easily after landing jets worth hundreds of millions of dollars for the last 22 years.

Thankfully luck played a part and I have a job in one of the most secure leisure airlines around. The last two years were still extremely stressful though... Get a career first and slowly build into a pilot career, if you're still not put off by the negative aspects of the career.
Mr Good Cat is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 09:30
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Venezia
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
First of all, I want to say that I'm in a business relation with a flight school from Slovenia, and I want to share my thoughts about your post:
It is true what some of the commentators are saying about the nature of the job... It can get a bit boring, but it all depends on what kind of flying you're doing (regional, long-haul, passenger, cargo, charter, etc) and where... in which company. There are companies where you fly for food, but there are also companies that keep the pay check level on a very lucrative level.
I have 38 years, I have two university degrees, I'm an independent aviation manager, but unfortunately was never able to start the training dues to my colour-blindness.
If someone would told me right now that I'm able to start the training, would I do so? In a heart beat!
But, I would be selective about my future job... I would definitely look more into business aviation, maybe cargo or aerial work...

Investment into pilot training is very different from country to country, from flight school to flight school. And so does the quality! Even though the training program is more or less the same in any flight school, the flight schools are not the same, the quality of the trainig is not the same, and at the end the pilot graduates are not the same.
There are instructors in the flight school that I'm working with, that are retired airline captains, and are saying that they will never step onto a airplane as a passenger, because they have witnessed how poorly trained pilots are coming in the cockpit as First Officers nowadays. So choose wisely! There is only one shot of becoming a good pilot... and most importantly, I found out that the students who are focused, attentive and hard working, get better jobs... and faster.

Anyway, if you havenít yet decided about the flight school, I invite you to take a look, maybe even visit Aviation Career Center. They have a nice fleet of airplanes, knowledgeable instructors and a reasonable price.

Good luck
dekammeron is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 09:48
  #70 (permalink)  
BBK
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 445
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Tim

Youíve doubtless realised that pilots are nothing if not opinionated! Some of the opinions are somewhat negative in my view but theyíre valid for the person making them. Iíll come onto that in a moment. Regarding the Class 1 medical then absolutely need to get that before undertaking a course. That needs to be competed by an appropriately qualified AME. Thereís no substitute for that and it isnít cheap but even hobby flying requires a Class 2. Iím talking about the UK here although Iím sure the same will apply to every aviation authority.

After what has happened during the pandemic I would be very cautious about enrolling on an integrated course. I would suggest he gets the medical completed and all being well undertakes a PPL course first. If he shows the enthusiasm and aptitude then look at the modular route. I believe some of the schools in the UK offer dual UK/EASA courses. Unlike most UK students he presumably can work in France and possibly in the wider EU and of course heís fluent in French I assume. If he can then by all means have another skill or qualification to fall back on.

Lastly, I would advise you and your son yes the airline industry can be brutal at times not least the last two years. However, after over 25 years in the business I havenít ever regretted it and I left a secure job to start flying. I am unapologetically romantic about flying. For me I am not blind to the downsides, like nearly being made redundant twice, more that if he has a genuine passion to fly that helps to offset the negative aspects. Itís the best seat there is and if he ends up flying long haul there is the opportunity to travel to places he probably wouldnít visit otherwise. Anyway, just my two penníorth. Hope that helps.

BBK

BBK is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 09:52
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 14,006
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
I would suggest that after passing his Class 1 EASA medical, your son does an aviation related degree, and/or applies to Airbus. He is very young so the actual airline flying can come later, and he will have his tech. career to pay his rent and support his loan for the frozen ATPL, and to fall back back on while waiting for that first pilot job opportunity.
I'm going to sound a note of discord here.

An MEng in aerospace engineering costs probably 4 years of dedication, and at-least in the UK around £85k by the time you've added up tuition and living costs. That then qualifies you to apply for trainee positions at somewhere like Airbus - the idea of just walking into a job there designing airliners, is as laughable as getting a long haul captaincy five years after finishing an integrated fATPL. Those jobs go to people who spent years of dedicated study and work to get there.

If the desire is to have a backup to flying, and I totally get why that might be a sensible track - get a skilled trade, not a degree. Plumbing, cooking, teaching first aid - whatever it is. Something that's globally in demand and can be pretty much walked into. Pretty much without exception, degrees don't do that - a vocational degree is a tough, expensive, route into a prestigious and worthwhile profession (hopefully). What it isn't is a sensible backup plan.

The ONLY reason to do that degree, is because that is a realistic and desirable career path to the person pursuing it.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 10:42
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Hamshire
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, there are many trades which provide a living - but they are not aviation. Okay, if you want to pilot an airbus and nothing else will do, and it turns out you can't get an airbus captain job, then being a bricklayer, electrician, paramedic, etc will put bread on the table. But if you are in love with aviation in general, rather than just Airbus captaincy, you probably won't be happy being a sparky, but you may be more happy doing something in aviation engineering rather than being outside the industry completely doing a job that you don't find interesting just to put bread on the table. Or alternatively, if you really, really want to be an airbus captain, then maybe anything else in aviation just won't do, and you would be happier outside the industry completely. Everyone is different. There are always tradeoffs. I agree a degree is horrendeously expensive these days, but many jobs are inaccesible without a degree. But taking a degree is a diversion away from the most direct route to that left hand seat. One only really finds out if one has made good choices in life, with the benefit of hindsight and then it turns out to be too late.
das180 is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 11:13
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Europe
Posts: 94
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I fully support Genhis' comments re engineering (as a profession, as distinct from at the technician level) - and I've had as many fancy letters after & before my name as he has. If you think getting a good job as a pilot is a high risk pathway, then getting a good job as a professionaal engineer is even more difficult for reasons that are not relevant here. (and yes, I've had a fantastic time and earned the big numbers on the dream jobs)

Get a skilled trade as the fallback. Something that cannot reasily be automated and is not just grunt work, and which has good job market liquidity. Electrician and plumber/heating-technician and nurse/paramedic are all good fallbacks where you can get them under your belt to initial trade qualifications in 3-years from 18-21, then go the modular route as you earn your way, but always do just enough each year to keep your trade tickets 'live'.
petit plateau is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 11:52
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: WWW
Posts: 120
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by petit plateau View Post
I fully support Genhis' comments re engineering (as a profession, as distinct from at the technician level) - and I've had as many fancy letters after & before my name as he has. If you think getting a good job as a pilot is a high risk pathway, then getting a good job as a professionaal engineer is even more difficult for reasons that are not relevant here. (and yes, I've had a fantastic time and earned the big numbers on the dream jobs)

Get a skilled trade as the fallback. Something that cannot reasily be automated and is not just grunt work, and which has good job market liquidity. Electrician and plumber/heating-technician and nurse/paramedic are all good fallbacks where you can get them under your belt to initial trade qualifications in 3-years from 18-21, then go the modular route as you earn your way, but always do just enough each year to keep your trade tickets 'live'.
A skilled trade to fall back on is good advice but if the advice when choosing to be a pilot is to have a skilled trade to fall back on then as others have alluded to itís not a great Ďcareerí choice.
Who wants to be flying, keeping up to date with fcoms etc , studying to be an electrician aswell as maybe enjoying life. Itís really sad that it has come to this.
roll_over is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 12:14
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Dubai
Age: 54
Posts: 270
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Been a long haul pilot for 16 years. Never done anything else so I can't comment on other jobs. I have loved it and would not change it. People here are not wrong when they say it be a challenge and lay-offs can happen - I imagine the same as any profession. If your children have no resilience or ability to handle rough times then they probably would not make a good pilot anyway.

I say if that is what he wants to do then go for it. Pilots will still have a long career and pilotless planes are still very far off.
Kennytheking is online now  
Old 16th May 2022, 13:00
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: The Swan Downunder
Posts: 1,011
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On the advice to have another qualification other than Pilot I have a number of trade qualifications and while they have been a benefit doing my own renos and extensions I haven't used any of them professionally in the last 30 yrs. Today a number of my family members who are young and using them, laugh at any suggestion that I might come back into any one of their Industries, including driving heavy vehicles. I doubt they are any use once you been away from it for a number of years. Is there anyone in this forum that has.
Xeptu is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 13:00
  #77 (permalink)  
dui
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: uk
Age: 62
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My son is 29 recently made Captain and is home every night.He trained in the UK with people from all around Europe.He started training just under 19y/o.He didn’t find the ATPL exams as easy as some of his contemporaries.As far as I know all his contemporaries that want to fly ended up with flying jobs,some sooner than others.I stopped counting at £120,000 which included his accommodation,living allowance and car.Total probably closer to £150,000.This was not at Oxford.He loves the job,good pay and conditions with plenty of free time.
dui is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 13:09
  #78 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Handmaiden
 
Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,526
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Xeptu, my Shorts 360 training pilot went back to driving heavy vehicles (semi-artics). As he was a night freight pilot, driving a semi was a piece of cake night time wise
(Sadly he passed all too soon after a severe stroke)
redsnail is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 13:21
  #79 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 1998
Location: The Swan Downunder
Posts: 1,011
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by redsnail View Post
Hi Xeptu, my Shorts 360 training pilot went back to driving heavy vehicles (semi-artics). As he was a night freight pilot, driving a semi was a piece of cake night time wise
(Sadly he passed all too soon after a severe stroke)
Ah the Shorts, flew the 330 myself about 40 years ago piece of junk it was. I hope the stroke wasn't because he went back to heavy vehicles. Life can be cruel eh!
Xeptu is offline  
Old 16th May 2022, 13:28
  #80 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 2,046
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hey, don't be rude about Miss Piggy !, (the Shorts). The 360 was my first commercial 'plane, and got me on the aviation ladder. Happy days, (although I don't miss having to do the F/O pre-flight cockpit set-up !)

Hi Genghis and other engineers; Fair enough, bad idea. (I was not trying to suggest the OP's son would walk in to a design job at Airbus, (!), but I thought they might possibly have a junior trainee scheme he could work towards).
Uplinker is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.