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-   -   Starting to regret it! (https://www.pprune.org/professional-pilot-training-includes-ground-studies/378867-starting-regret.html)

G SXTY 28th Jun 2009 11:13

Write out 100 times:

(a) Timing is everything in this game.

(b) Now is a terrible time to train.

TurboJ 28th Jun 2009 14:17

Finishing training now is probably not the best time but starting training now to finish in 18months - 2yrs is possibly good timing.

AlphaMale 28th Jun 2009 22:37

I hope Turbo is right on this one and G SXTY is wrong here.

Half way through my PPL and after looking at this thread (JOB SEEKERS, ADD YOUR DETAILS HERE) I too get these days where I wonder if I'm doing the right thing in spending £40k+ on aviation training where it could be better spent on a wedding / money for the kids to go to Uni / A bigger house etc.

I could go in to contracting in IT and earn some serious cash but hate the job Mon - Fri 9-5 but really love the weekends flying my own light aircraft where I want, or I could bite the bullet and spend the £40k on training that may never lead to a job :(

The guys below have posted in the thread above have for example:

B737 EFIS/NG/BBJ Captain available.
19,000 hours. 11,000 command EFIS/NG.
Extensive International experience.
53 years old. ICAO license.
Will go anywhere at short notice.

and another ....

TT 8,000hr 7,000 multi jet
Currently G5/550 F/o (prob. not for much longer)
4,000hr B747 400
1,200hr A320/1
1,000hr B737 (incl NG)
Also Avro 146 and ATP
UK resident.

That is my competition if I finished my training today! And Ronand that's your competition now.

I'd estimate I could have my fATPL in summer 2011 if all goes to plan, I just hope to God these guys in the job seekers thread have got jobs by then or have given up trying. I'd happily go to Maun for 2 or 3 years (well I'd love it and the misis would hit the roof).

... tempted to delay starting my ATPL GS in Jan '10 for maybe 6 months or so or I take full advantage of the 18 months time available to me.

Desk-pilot 29th Jun 2009 13:47

guys it's not the roster you think it is
Well guys at my company we don't ever get 4 days off as a weekend - that's Easyjet I think!

My roster is typically 5 on 2 off or 6 on 3 off. Bear in mind too that the weekend is shortened by the fact you always finish on a late getting home after 11pm and your first day of work will always be an early starting around 6am. So your two day weekend feels more like one and a half.

I really do think judging by some of the posts on here that some of you are delusional. The reality is that airline pilots did indeed enjoy rather more time off than the average worker, however if you're in the loco scheduled sector (and the reality is that is where most of you will end up) you will work pretty darned hard for your money.

I am on a day off today (one of my two this week) and it's not so great being off when the rest of your family aren't.

I'm most definately NOT trying to put you off this career and I'm not looking for anyone to feel sorry for me. I am however trying to give you an insight into the real life of an airline pilot - something I'd have loved someone to do when I was training. I'm also hopefully offering some consolation to some of you who haven't got a job yet - there are benefits to a 9-5 desk job too - like being around for your family when they're around...

Ask yourself why so many pilots end up divorced...

And it's isn't just because our world is full of 22 year old nymphomaniac hosties with pneumatic breasts!!


TurboJ 29th Jun 2009 14:10

I really do think judging by some of the posts on here that some of you are delusional.
Having come into flying from another profession, I can assure you that I work far less for considerably more money - and that is not taking into account my earning potential as a Captain or Trainer. Tell me what other job can have me sat on standby watching the tennis, ready to crack open the beer as soon as 4pm arrives?

I'm not sure it makes that much sense as a career nowadays compared to some of the better alternatives.
So what are the better alternatives. In 2009 Britain, most jobs incorporate some sort of unsociable hours, not just flying. So what are these great alternatives??????????????:cool:

Its easy to think that there are better jobs out there until you go off and do them and then realise that what you had was ok to start with ?? Grass and greener springs to mind.

At least your home on your days off and not working for a cowboy outfit that says you have to have your days off down route or refuses to position you home for your days off !!

You're not the only one who misses their family when working, but unfortunately unsociable hours seems to be the norm in almost most walks of life;

and another thing.............I don't see many 9-5 Dads in the playground picking their kids up from school - having days off during the week is great to have time to yourself, do your own thing, go to the gym/shops when they are quiet and do the school runs etc etc ............:D

I'm not looking for anyone to feel sorry for me.
We're not.

Ask yourself why so many pilots end up divorced...
Cos they can't keep it in their pants.

qatarstudent 29th Jun 2009 16:56

Half way through my PPL and after looking at this thread (JOB SEEKERS, ADD YOUR DETAILS HERE) I too get these days where I wonder if I'm doing the right thing in spending £40k+ on aviation training where it could be better spent on a wedding / money for the kids to go to Uni / A bigger house etc.

I could go in to contracting in IT and earn some serious cash but hate the job Mon - Fri 9-5 but really love the weekends flying my own light aircraft where I want, or I could bite the bullet and spend the £40k on training that may never lead to a job
don't forget than before this crisis(2007-2008), it was still very hard to find a job. There were more interviews going on I agree, but it didn' mean airlines were desperate for pilots.
now you chance to find a job are quasi nul, in 2007 you needed to have 1500htt, 500h jet time.
about flight instructor?, forget it. You dont make a living by working week end and summer.
I would keep the money for a house, a better life, and keep flying for fun during week end, and I will look at what's going on in 2-3 years, and stay cool and relax, when others are stressing to get finished and then realize this market is already filled with desperated low time pilots of pre-2009 crisis.

and 9 to 5???it's holyday everyday in your office? , it's going to be 5am to 10 pm. Duty time is 16 hours in the airlines.They ask you to wake up at 3 am to be at the airport at 5 am for the first flight at 6 am. Most of the time , you see the sunrise in your cockpit, and sunset in your cockpit too.
Forget about kids, wife, friends, house,...

maybe I am wrong, but I bet I am right. Guys starting their training now, will find themself competing with experienced pilots in 2 years.

Desk-pilot 29th Jun 2009 16:56


You are right that an uncalled standby is a thing of beauty but I'm afraid terms and conditions vary greatly across the industry. I gather you are with the big orange bird while I fly turboprops for a large UK carrier. I would argue that your company are probably a level up from mine in terms of pay and rations and this goes some way to explaining our different perceptions.

As an example Your uplift as SFO is £10k per annum, mine is £500
Your roster is 5/3 5/4 ours is 5/2 6/3
Your base salary as a SFO in say year 2 or 3 is likely to be £45k, mine is £29k
Your duty pay is paid at £15 a sector, mine is £1.91 an hour so you make £7500 a year on top of salary while I make £2000-£3000.

It's a very very big difference indeed depending upon who you work for!!

I'd be very interested to get an idea of your rosters so we can compare workload offline if you'd care to PM me!

No offence intended by the way - though we work for rival outfits it is interesting to compare notes as professional aviators.

Hope you're enjoying the tennis!



liam548 30th Jun 2009 14:39

Originally Posted by TurboJ (Post 5017724)
I couldn't disagree with you more. My previous career in the emergency services I had to endure 18hr days, no breaks, non stop grief from both the public and supervisors, 8hrs in between shifts, stuck out in bad weather and politics that was beyond belief.

Whilst a flying career has its own hassles, I work far less for a lot more money and I'm only in the RHS. To say I'm at work sat at home on standby is incomprehensible to former colleagues.

What are the better alternatives? I'd be interested to know.

Going back to the original post - I've very little sympathy. What did you expect when you started your training? Now you have a licence you have to go and build your experience, along with the hundreds of other people who also have graduated from flight school. Try doing that whilst holding down a full time job, working shifts, with a wife, mortgage, three kids etc etc...

Unless you went to one of the major schools who will get you the interview, nobody is going to hand you a job on a plate. You have to go and work for it.

Network - Get to know people too - They will also network for you; Several jobs I got were through people who knew people.

Good luck........TJ

Mmm I wonder what job you had before, sounds a lot like mine now.

An interesting thread this and one that gets me thinking. I am coming to the end of my PPL now and need to decide on what course of action to take next. Currently in a secure £30k+ a year job in the police with very few travelling expenses. I find the job easy though and it would also be easy for me to sit back and stick with what I am doing but..

I long to fly for a living.

JB007 30th Jun 2009 15:15


When I flew the turbo-prop, my life was just the same as yours, it's standard bottom of the food chain stuff! My employer knew there were lots of low-houred guys wanting your's/my seat if you don't!

I could have moved onto jets about 18 months earlier than I did (assuming i'd have been offered the job of course) but the only major recruitment based on my experience at the time was easyJet and their TRSS scheme - only one step off the bottom of the food chain!

I held out for big holiday company and big T&C's, it worked, in fact, due to a merger, 3 years down the line my T&C's improved again!

It's a very very big difference indeed depending upon who you work for!!
Yep - very basically: I don't do Standby's, I sell my days off back for extra dosh; I get 11-13 days off a month; I'm home every night with one deep night flight on average every 6 weeks (seems base dependant); I get sector pay AND flight pay; I have more leave than I know what to do with; only a year 4 FO, my P60 said I earn't in-excess of £60k; naturally my summer's are busy, my winters are in need of a serious hobby - yearly hours probably 600-700 - about what I was doing on a turbo-prop!!!!

It simply doesn't get any better, will it last? I personally doubt it! Will I have a job in 12 months? Hope so, but who knows - could lose a lot of the above to keep my job! Every man's grass and all that...

You've got a good job, it is very different depending on which market sector you're employed in but when the time comes be choosy, you'll be well placed.
As an aside, after a few years of following a 'magenta line', I guarantee you'll be missing your turbo-prop and spending your new found wealth at the flying club or on aircraft shares...!!!!!!

Desk-pilot 30th Jun 2009 21:22


Many thanks for your kind words, it is indeed reassuring to hear that there are still quality outfits out there who remunerate well and where you feel you have a sensible work life balance.

I didn't realise you had worked on turboprops too and it's interesting to hear that you still miss the more hands on aspects of flying them - I can see how that might be the case even from my current seat. The sectors are short and busy, the views are often nice because we fly so low and to be fair this is by far the most enjoyable job I have ever had and to be fair the company have a very nice culture. I just suspected that there are better terms and conditions and lifestyle options out there - and well, the jets look so darned sexy!

Anyway, nobody's going anywhere at the moment but really appreciated your insight all the same!

Lets hope the economy picks up and all our jobs and airlines are safe - out of interest are you finding bookings holding up pretty well? To be fair ours seem to be doing OK - still anticipating a profit this year and the flights have reasonable loads. If you didn't read the papers you'd never guess there was a recession on! I have a theory too that people will still book their Summer week in Tenerife or whatever anyway unless they have lost their job because they've come to expect one sun holiday a year and need the boost it provides so I'm imagining you guys are holding up pretty well.

Best regards,


G SXTY 1st Jul 2009 10:38

The last few posts are very useful for anyone wanting an insight into airline life, and the large variations of pay and lifestyle within the profession. I work for the same outfit as Desk-pilot, flying the same turboprop, and would agree with everything he says.

Until recently I worked at a small base where everyone knew each other and got on well, where the social life was great, I had more standbys and free time than I knew what to do with, and the 'commute' was a 20 minute drive through the countryside followed by a 5 minute walk to the crewroom. Now, for my sins, I'm based at a slightly larger aerodrome just to the north of creepy Crawley. It's a huge and unfriendly place, and I have an hour's drive plus a twenty minute bus ride to the crewroom - if the road is clear. Given that my route involves the Dartford Bridge and a big slice of the M25, that effectively means adding two hours to either end of my working day. (I thought I'd left all that behind when I jacked in the office job in London). My roster is now great for building hours but not so good for looking after the garden - 5/2 and 6/3 mean exactly that, and I'll generally be getting home at midnight on the last day. That's progress for you.

This isn't meant as a whinge - sitting in traffic yesterday, wondering if I'd get to work on time, I thought "I'm really not enjoying this" followed immediately by the thought that I love my job and I know people who'd give body parts to be in my position. Once we're strapped in and taxying, I'm just as happy as I ever was. The point is that once the novelty has worn off, this job is all about quality of life - and there can be huge differences in lifestyle between bases, never mind companies.

wilky 1st Jul 2009 11:16

well maybe bit off thread here, but I have finally decided to call it a day on beginning flying training, professionally anyway. I really did want this, it has been an ambition for many years. However watching what has happened over the years, seeing how much money people pay for TRSS and the likes, the difficulty in getting a job, and by the looks of it keeping it secure for any length of time, it looks to be far too high a risk for the investment made.

For comparison, I self sponsored myself to train in what I am doing now, working offshore. I would say I invested £3500 in total 3 years ago, Now I work 147 days a year, earn in excess of £50k for that, 2 weeks on/3 weeks off rotation and my job is pretty much secure, if oil companies were making redundancies, I would be last to go, as I'm needed on platform for insurance purposes. My company invest money into my career to advance it, by putting me on expensive courses, in turn I get paid more.

Granted, being away 2 weeks at sea is not the best, but considering I get 3 weeks off after it, itís not too harsh!

I am now ending my dream to become an airline pilot, quite simply it does not have the appeal it once did, I'm gutted as it's all I wanted to do. But I will continue with PPL and fly for fun, hell I might even buy an older 152 and do a little tour of Europe.

So to all you guys and girls who have finished training and are looking, to the guy and girls who are going through training just now, and too the ones that start soon then I wish you all the very best and sincerely hope it picks up for you soon and conditions improve.

Itís a shame itís come to this!

Kelly Hopper 1st Jul 2009 12:16

It may not seem like it now but you have made a very intellegent, thought out decision. 2 weeks on 3 weeks off for 50k I would sell body parts for!
You have far too much to lose to chance your luck with this game.
Good choice and enjoy the private flying. So much more fun anyway.

Deep and fast 1st Jul 2009 12:33


Feel sorry you're missing out on the dream, but sometimes it's just a nightmare! I've spent two and a half years away from home to get a start in this industry and it has cost me a lot. Both in financial and emotional cost. At the end of the day we go to work to pay the bills and if you like the work you do it's a bonus, but the career is turning into a flying club with people throwing money at companies to provide training as has been said many times. The reality is that once people cannot afford to do this either through lack of bank funding or healthy bank balance, then the time to train has returned and look at it again.

With the current work pattern you have, an instructors ticket would be ideal and believe me it can be great fun and improves the CRM for later.

All the best D and F :8

betpump5 1st Jul 2009 13:51

Some Positivity
Forums are known for their negativity. It is the typical case where if you had a good meal, good flight, good hotel stay you rarely make the effort to visit a forum and impart your appreciation, but if you had a bad experience then one would be quick to tell their friends and everyone about it.

If you go onto the other forums - spectators gallery, questions, tech log, night stop etc, you will see good old banter posts between pilots. You will see how content and happy they are and more importantly, how to rip the p1ss out of each other without being offensive or waking up the moderator. This is the type of talk you get in the cockpit - perhaps not so much in SH flights where a good majority of your time would be spent in a sterile cockpit environment.

The point I am trying to make is that it is not all bad! At a guess, there must be thousands of current pilots on pprune but they are not all here saying how bad the industry is. How many Ryanair pilots are there who come onto this forum slating their company and working conditions? If there are any, I have not read many posts. Whenever I read a post on the wannabe forum slating Ryanair and the like, it is usually from redundant 10'000TT+ pilots who are sick at the fact they can not get a job as Ryanair prefers £30K cadets, or those recently out of Flight Training who can not afford to pay for a Type rating - with Ryanair or otherwise.

I will not blame you guys that I have just mentioned for feeling this way or writing negative comments on the forum. I would feel the same. In fact I do feel the same sometimes. I have been a ppruner for many years under another name. However as I have been flying LH since I was 21, I was starting to get bored - really bored. I've been on the 747 since I was 21. So I became a wannabe just like the rest of you. I made myself a new name and decided to poke around the wannabe forums - just to see what is going around in this world. I need to get the flying bug back!!

Basically, I'm looking for a short haul airline who will value my 10 years of 732, 742F and 744 experience and who will pay for my TR - whilst keeping me on the salary I am on now! The simple truth is that it is not going to happen - purely because of you guys out there - Thanks! And because there is a surplus of "you guys" out there, the T&Cs are low for those type of airlines - not much of a reward after 1-3 years of hard work and circa £70K spent is it?

The negative things you are reading here on pprune really are not the norm in the wider international airline industry - the place where I assume you all want to aspire to. You may well get 10 responses here from current pilots saying I'm talking rubbish but they will just be the 10. Not the Tens of thousands who fly A340s/777s/747s everyday who are happy and content.

The sandpit is the same. You will read negative posts from EK pilots but the same few names crop up again and again. The same with Fragrant Harbour.

The point is once you get to a top notch airline, then things really are as good as JB001 says it is. You get many days off, especially if LH, money is good (not as good as it once was), destinations are good, hotels are good - without giving too much away, 2 nights ago I shared a few drinks with a certain music mogul next to a very fine hotel swimming pool. The negative flip side being that a few weeks ago, I found myself inadvertantly in the same bar as a L.G.B.T meet - not so many "L"s about :suspect: which could have been interesting.

At the moment, the industry is in bad way. But all industries are. Strikes are happening, crime is on the increase, motivation is down and all the usual crap that comes with a recession (I really should stop picking up the Daily Mail once I get to Heathrow). Negativity on pprune is no exception. I just want you all to realise that whilst it may take a long time to get "there", once you are there you really do live the dream everyday - even in a lo-co airline. I've said it before, I have a fair few friends in Ryanair who after being with the company for quite a few years are on excellent pay, lots of hands on flying, tons of T/Os and landings - in short they are loving it. Plus they don't have to wear a pollution mask once they exit the terminal at their home base.

My advice to wannabes reading this particular thread is that use a little bit of sense - especially right now. Don't rush into anything. If you have a job - keep it and go mod. Always have a back-up plan because it could be a good 5 years before airlines mop up redundant experienced pilots. But once you get here, it really is not that bad.

AlphaMale 1st Jul 2009 13:55

Wilky, why not move on to an 'extended' hour building session to 150TT and 100PIC. If it turns out that FI's will no longer need a CPL, then that may be a good way of spending those 3 weeks at home or at least one of those weeks :ok:

£50k for 2 on / 3 off sounds damn good to me.

Stick around and I hope it all works out for you ... I've not decided yet :rolleyes:

Edit to add: Thanks for your post betpump5 - nice to see some positivity.

Artie Fufkin 1st Jul 2009 14:51

Having come into flying from another profession, I can assure you that I work far less for considerably more money - and that is not taking into account my earning potential as a Captain or Trainer. Tell me what other job can have me sat on standby watching the tennis, ready to crack open the beer as soon as 4pm arrives?

Working day today;

Woke up at 8:30, having "been at work" (phone on) for 90 minutes. Got up at 9am, went to the gym, had lunch in town with a mate, now sitting on the sofa watching the tennis with 12 minutes until beer o clock.

Its a great job (we won't mention the 4 sector day tomorrow with a 4:30am wake up).

oceanhawk 1st Jul 2009 15:41

terms and conditions
Well said 'x factor carpark',
It all depends who you work for. I gave up the left seat of the Embraer 145 over 3 years ago for the right seat on the 757/767 for the big hoilday company, even post merger no commands i 've never looked back. P 60 £65000.00 plus PA.At least 12 or more days off each month, sometimes 7 off in a row. No standby at all, cannot start before 6 am after a day off. Sell days off each month for lots of money. More leave than i know what to do with. large chunk of money each year off the family holiday.Twenty year plus increment scale, family health care. The list goes on.
If you are in the game for the right reasons its great.Find the company you want to work for and do n't look back. Never give up.

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