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-   -   Becoming a pilot After COVID-19 (https://www.pprune.org/professional-pilot-training-includes-ground-studies/631062-becoming-pilot-after-covid-19-a.html)

Aviator172s 29th Apr 2020 10:40

Thanks a lot for all your responses. Main conclusions I see is that you consider I am too old for starting a career in aviation, but I'd rather think is Covid situation what triggers this statement, since two months ago I frankly did not consider age fact as a major impediment (I know people who started older than me and reached an airliner position, not very good conditions at the beginning, but still goal/dream fulfilled)
Probably best thing to do now in mi case is keep on my current job, enjoy the PPL I recently obtained, fly for pleasure and sum hours up to the timebuilding, then revalutate in 12-18 months time when situation is clearer than now. Uncertainty is a killer, specially in aviation industry in my opinion. But honestly, I do not want to assume I have any option at all, since is my professional dream from many years, and my decided goal, including a 180º career-change, since a couple of years ago.

Best

covec 29th Apr 2020 12:22

Very sad to give up a dream but at least I have an FI job courtesy MOD.

Loganair’s issues (had an assessment due) followed by Monarch, TC, Flybe & the aviation mayhem caused by CV-19 has done for that.

The fellow modular students with me during my MEIR have gone back offshore or back to airport ground ops. for “couple of years”.

BA’s announcement today re 12000 staff redundancies not good either.

UAV689 29th Apr 2020 15:08

neither. But if a gun was to my head modular and drag it out over 5 years.

wizz air 1000 laid off
ba 800-1200
ryanair started laying off buzz crews and delayed max until next year.
flybe pilots out of work
easy defering aircraft orders
sas laying off half their staff
norwegian not to fly until next year, with at least 50 less aircraft if they fly again
icelandic air laying off staff
lufty shrinking
af/klm wont hire now for another 5 years minimum

Just where is there going to be a job in europe over the next couple of years with all this experience looking for work.

It is equally as bad elsewhere in the world.

squidie 29th Apr 2020 18:27


Originally Posted by MichaelOLearyGenius (Post 10767350)
What would be best to start just now? Integrated or Moduar?

Modular hands down. You can control the money you put into it and put as much or little studies as you like and also work along the side if you require. There is very little upfront costs to things as well. Unlike integrated then you have to put money upfront in large quantities but obviously the upside is you’re getting a course delivered to you but do know that right now that’s a very big risk.

But train only if you must...

EatSleepFlyRepeat 29th Apr 2020 22:28

Given the current circumstances I would go modular. It will take a good 12-18 months for get through the theory so you can see what the market is doing and pace your training accordingly. If you can afford to do the flying then treat it as a fun hobby which at the same time will develop a whole number of persona skills and your character. It’s not easy but I did it alongside a full time job and raising a family and still enjoyed it.

Clearly the outlook is not exactly great and while there will be losers there will be some opportunities and therefore some winners. I’m sure some airlines will get rid of some ‘dead wood’, other pilots will retire, lose medicals etc. Also new cadets will probably be cheaper to hire than experiences pilots so I live in hope.

Regarding age, I was not that long ago in a RYR assessment with a chap in his early 40’s with no flying background and I'm not far off that age albeit some FI experience. Suffice to say we got straight in and all successful candidates have been recently notified that our employment offer still stands although TR’s delayed. Of course I am remaining cautious and struggling to see it happening but I remain hopeful. Fortunately I have a decent job to pay the bills, so my final piece would be to seriously consider a back up plan and perhaps put the same energy into that than any flying training.

I would also take most comments on here with a pinch of salt, and perhaps mine also, but we have to hope and keep our dreams alive!

Andre Meyer 30th Apr 2020 04:54

It is never a good time to become a Pilot neither is it ever a bad time to become a Pilot. It is, however, important to become a Pilot.

LeoBruce123 30th Apr 2020 10:02

https://t.co/EmCKXHE9Cs

An interesting article; obviously no one knows how it’ll pan out, but this gives some options to consider in how they will get back to some form of normality.

Sholayo 30th Apr 2020 13:05

On the contrary to many pessimists here.
If you have money and are below 30 - just go slowly. In couple of years from now most likely we'll be in the same place we were 6 months ago. If not - you'll at least keep memories of flight training and hours building. Pessimist view of 'climate change BS' killing aviation would mean the world would be so different that money you spend on the training will be worthless in 5 years from now.
Assuming aviation will not come back to where it was means also that too many other things will not be back too. You may learn sewing. Tailors will be in high demand with no cheap supplies from China. Maybe shoemaking or carpentry? Because in recession IT will not pay much and being an GP/MD will be too dangerous.
Is that the world we expect to see?
C'mon - be reasonable. There IS a scenario where in 3-4 years from now there will be again demand for pilots and pipeline of those furloughed now will dry up. Now some will be too old, some will realize that anything else than be a pilot is better (as far as i can guess reading PPRUNE), some will lose their currency and with no money to renew you will be able to beat them in the recruitment battle ;)


DAVPILOT2 5th May 2020 20:56

I too have finally "grown up" and started my PPL training, currently powering through the ground exams despite the the circumstances in the industry. I told myself just before the crises emerged, I will be a first officer in 10 years. quite a modest goal, but a more difficult one now!

Either way, we do it for the love of it, and flying a Cessna 172 will always put a smile on my face regardless!

flyingkeyboard 5th May 2020 22:21


Originally Posted by DAVPILOT2 (Post 10773645)
I too have finally "grown up" and started my PPL training, currently powering through the ground exams despite the the circumstances in the industry. I told myself just before the crises emerged, I will be a first officer in 10 years. quite a modest goal, but a more difficult one now!

Either way, we do it for the love of it, and flying a Cessna 172 will always put a smile on my face regardless!

Same here, I’m 34 and most of the way through the PPL course. Slim chance I’ll ever get a job in aviation, but I’m doing it for the love of flying primarily. Also helps that I have an established career so taking it slowly can’t do any harm. Decision point for me will be in 3-4 years - do I go for the CPL or not.

giggitygiggity 5th May 2020 23:43


Originally Posted by UAV689 (Post 10767357)
Just where is there going to be a job in europe over the next couple of years with all this experience looking for work.

You answered your question, not with the current airlines/brands you recognise.

There will be thousands, probably tens of thousands of flying jobs over the next 5 years, but none, bar the odd cargo one for the next 2. An incomprehensible number of airlines will go bust, maybe not today, but soon. They’ll come out of this so riddled with debt; this will open up many many opportunities new solvent airlines to form. They’ll be able to buy slots, planes and crew very very cheap, on far worse terms than those employed now are on. There will be thousands of pilots looking for work around Europe and these new airlines will need to take on many experienced guys. To a guy that was earning 200k was a captain at BA made redundant from the 747, after a year on job seekers he’ll be chomping at the bit to be paid 40 or 50k a year to be a first officer at Covid-air (or whatever the new companies are going to be called). There will be plenty of jobs by 2025 for experienced guys, but these airlines will need to create a bit of an experience base before they can start recruiting low houred pilots or cadets.

My airline (easyJet) will certainly be around in a years time, but three or five years time? I’m not sure I fancy those odds. We’ll have so much debt in order to survive this that any profit we make will just be repaying the debt. That’s whilst the new debt free competition can undercut us on price as they’ve bought a repossessed Airbus for 10m instead of the 50m we’ve paying for ours. Their flight deck will cost 100k a year as opposed to the 250k a year a crew at easyJet costs. No amount of government loaning is going to solve our/the upcoming debt crisis. We’re built to fly 100m passengers this year, anything less than perhaps 75m will undoubtably result in a massive loss. If we carry 50m between now and the end of 2021, it will frankly be a miracle, although I imagine the total might disturbingly be lower than that. Time will of course tell, but precise figures won’t solve the debt crisis.

Would anybody be able to hazard a guess as to what a used A380 might be going for today? The list price was $400m. I’d be very surprised if anyone would be willing to pay more than $60-100m today. There are going to be massive winners out of this, but the brands you recognise I’m afraid, aren’t going to be the champions.

Many threads on here are asking experienced pilots what they’d do after having to end their aviation careers early. My advice would be to write a business plan for the launch of an entirely new low cost airline. There will be an absolute fortune to be made, but not in the past.

guy_incognito 6th May 2020 07:47

I think that the post above addresses one of the most salient points: yes, there will probably be jobs available in the future. However, while training costs will remain absurdly expensive, the terms and conditions offered by airlines will be absolutely appalling.

First officer contracts will most likely be at the zero hour, minimum wage level with no additional benefits, and captains will be earning £60k. Why anyone would want to take on mortgage levels of debt to train for that is beyond me.

CAT3C AUTOLAND 6th May 2020 08:10


Originally Posted by DAVPILOT2 (Post 10773645)
I too have finally "grown up" and started my PPL training, currently powering through the ground exams despite the the circumstances in the industry. I told myself just before the crises emerged, I will be a first officer in 10 years. quite a modest goal, but a more difficult one now!

Either way, we do it for the love of it, and flying a Cessna 172 will always put a smile on my face regardless!

Tough times ahead I am sure, however DAVPILOT2 I admire your determination. In 1995 I did my PPL through the modular route, (working, studying and saving at the same time), 12 years later joined a major UK airline. Sadly I had to retire early though ill health, however spent 12 wonderful years in the airlines, thoroughly enjoyed the job, and ended my career as a Captain on the A320, and now training new aspiring pilots to fly jets which is equally enjoyable!

Fair play to you, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

All the best.

parkfell 6th May 2020 08:43


Originally Posted by guy_incognito (Post 10774012)
. .............However, while training costs will remain absurdly expensive, the terms and conditions offered by airlines will be absolutely appalling.

First officer contracts will most likely be at the zero hour, minimum wage level with no additional benefits, and captains will be earning £60k. Why anyone would want to take on mortgage levels of debt to train for that is beyond me.

SIMPLE ECONOMICS

I suspect that when the training machine starts up again, the established ATOs will recognise that they will have to be ‘creative’ to get new customers through the door, as demand for new pilots will be somewhat minimal.
Survival of the fittest will undoubtedly play its part, and their pricing will be governed entirely by the economic principle of supply & demand.

What the market will bear.

Until the point is reached where airlines are crying out for junior birdmen, airline T&Cs are unlikely to improve, and training costs will not increase significantly.

As has been alluded to, a lot of airlines will either go to the wall, as will ATO training organisations. For the stronger ones, metamorphosis may well occur.
Phoenix from the ashes, aided by State Intervention in a number of cases for the AOC holders.

The picture painted above, in relation to the airlines, is one of excessive supply with not a lot of demand; a situation not dissimilar to the present price of crude oil.

As to when a significant recovery will occur ~ 3 to 5 years. Normal service fully resumed by 7 years.

Let us hope Prof Sarah Gilbert’s team at Oxford produces a vaccine in the not to distant future.


felixflyer 6th May 2020 08:55

Because what they are sold is a dream, a fantasy. Have a look at all the marketing from the big schools and its all images of pilots walking through the terminal in uniform. This is what a large number of wannabes want. They will say it's all about the flying and they just love to fly but if that was the case why are so many already in their 30's with 50k available for pilot training but not even a PPL? Any marketer knows you sell the dream not the reality.

It was always going to be the case that the job of pilot eventually lost the glamour and took on the same kind of image as a train or bus driver. We probably had another decade or so of people (and banks) willing to pay huge amounts to train for something that might pay them back in 10 years. What we will see now however will be a quick decline in T&C's and paying to train will just not be viable. Pilots on old contracts will be given an option to leave or sign a new one, the legacy carriers will offload a ton of experienced crew and the loco's will be rubbing their hands at how cheap they can pick them up.

The training industry will be decimated. No money or lending and parents in negative equity will be the end of that. We might see a couple of large schools remain as sponsored training comes back but it will be very, very compettive and require the pilot to remain with the sponsoring airline for a very long time on very low income to pay for it.

As for new airlines starting up, possibly but you wouldn't want to work for them. It's more likely that existing ones downgrade even further. BA will be more like Ryanair and those A380's will become cargo haulers. We are seeing a big push towards businesses embracing technologies that allow remote working. The mindset has been forced to change and many are now getting rid of the big office already as they realise the savings to be made. Why use their electric, water, rent when the worker can use their own? The business travel sector will never come back to what it was.

People will still fly though but it will mostly be the leisure travellers and they all want to pay less for their flights than they do for their airport parking.

There will however be plenty of other opportunities to make money if your smart enough. There will also be a large amount of capable light aircraft going very cheap. If you really do really want to fly then make your money outside of Aviation, get qualified and fly yourself around IFR on your own time. The only money that will be made in aviation over the next decade is by those shorting the market.

Chris the Robot 6th May 2020 15:38


Originally Posted by felixflyer (Post 10774090)
The training industry will be decimated. No money or lending and parents in negative equity will be the end of that. We might see a couple of large schools remain as sponsored training comes back but it will be very, very compettive and require the pilot to remain with the sponsoring airline for a very long time on very low income to pay for it.

I do wonder if there will be enough parents and career changers out there who can fund the cost of an integrated course without a loan to enable the airlines to deal with any future expansion? I suppose quite a lot of it depends on whether a lot of the experienced pilots who are made redundant wish to resume a flying career post-virus.

If the training industry contracts massively and self-funding becomes a thing of the past, then BALPA and the various other unions need to absolutely prevent the self-funding of airline training ever being a thing in the future. A lot of pilots have suffered T&Cs being reduced over the years, unfortunately that's what an oversupply of cheap freshly-trained pilots looking for their first job leads to.

wiggy 6th May 2020 15:56

felix


Have a look at all the marketing from the big schools and its all images of pilots walking through the terminal in uniform. This is what a large number of wannabes want. They will say it's all about the flying and they just love to fly but if that was the case why are so many already in their 30's with 50k available for pilot training but not even a PPL?
Interesting observation...

Chris


BALPA and the various other unions need to absolutely prevent the self-funding of airline training ever being a thing in the future.
..and how do you suggest they do this?


TRENT210 6th May 2020 16:03


Originally Posted by wiggy (Post 10774473)
felix

..and how do you suggest they do this?

it seems to work quite well in the rail industry

wiggy 6th May 2020 16:24


Originally Posted by TRENT210 (Post 10774479)
it seems to work quite well in the rail industry

Please explain further.

Whenever this issue has been raised before the counter argument raised is that to try and stop a private individual signing a contract with an private ATO would amount to restraint of trade (or something along those lines).

Chris the Robot 6th May 2020 18:11

If I'm not wrong, the union at SAS managed to curtail the airline's plans to have a subsidiary in Ireland, so it can be done. I believe TREs/TRIs/LTEs can revert back to normal flying duties if they wish to do so? If they refused to sign off people who had gone down the P2F, or the self-funded with 200 hours career routes, what would an airline do? Likewise, there's a lot of action short of a walkout which pilots could take to make their displeasure at the situation clear, overtime bans, instructor bans, work-to-rule to name a few. I appreciate that the industry is it dire straits and industrial action is probably the last thought on most pilots' minds, however if/when the industry begins to recover, you will need to take a firm stance on protecting whatever T&Cs you have left.

Since the railway has been mentioned, it's very rare on the mainline in Britain that a strike is actually called, usually an overtime ban does the trick. If people tried to buy their way into a train cab, then I think the instructors would refuse to teach them. If there were any reprisals, then all the instructors would simply hand their instructor tickets back and revert to normal driving duties, so there would be no trainees at all, paid or unpaid.

Edited to add:
If this seems a bit too militant, then BALPA et al should lobby for a test similar to the DLR in Germany to be introduced as a pre-requisite to airline employment or even to hold an ATPL. if there was a minimal pass percentage (single digits if possible) and a very limited number of attempts allowed, it would filter out so many people that supply/demand would be controllable. We have something like that on the railway, it's actually the law that you must pass it (it varies slightly from one country to another) to hold a train driving licence anywhere in the EU, about 10% who reach the tests actually pass them.


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