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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)

DvEsp787 30th Mar 2020 06:59

Becoming a pilot After COVID-19
 
Hey, this is my first post on PPRuNe.

I am hoping to start my Integrated ATPL course by the end of this year/next year but, I have been seeing threads on PPRuNe saying that the bonanza of pilot shortage would simply not exist for the next 5-10 years/after COVID.
To quote, Flying Clog posted under Rumors and news: "The aviation sector is going to contract by 50% for at least the next 5-10 years, and will never, in our lifetimes, recover to the dizzy heights of 2019".
I am just another aspiring airline pilot but looking at the current and predicted situation should I look for something else rather than becoming a pilot?

Please correct me if I am wrong and I would love some advice, feedback, thoughts or whether I should pursue this dream forward...

covec 30th Mar 2020 23:54


Originally Posted by DvEsp787 (Post 10732900)
Hey, this is my first post on PPRuNe.

I am hoping to start my Integrated ATPL course by the end of this year/next year but, I have been seeing threads on PPRuNe saying that the bonanza of pilot shortage would simply not exist for the next 5-10 years/after COVID.
To quote, Flying Clog posted under Rumors and news: "The aviation sector is going to contract by 50% for at least the next 5-10 years, and will never, in our lifetimes, recover to the dizzy heights of 2019".
I am just another aspiring airline pilot but looking at the current and predicted situation should I look for something else rather than becoming a pilot?

Please correct me if I am wrong and I would love some advice, feedback, thoughts or whether I should pursue this dream forward...

Personally I would go Modular. I have 1000 hours albeit as a GA Flying Instructor. My airline Sim Assessment was cancelled in November and since then the HR department for that airline has stated that it is seeking qualified Flybe crew or Type Rated crew only. And now they are seeking government aid.

In the UK, with BMI, Monarch, TC & Flybe all gone & other airlines (including easyjet) are struggling. There are a lot of experienced, redundant crews out there and it will take time to reabsorb them back into flying (if that is what they wish).

Get a job or alternative profession to fall back on. Save your cash. Train Modular. Go for a Single Pilot Licence not MPL so that you could add an FI Rating if you wished.

The flying public are going to need time to recover before discretionary spending picks up - the economy is likely badly damaged. Choice of a holiday abroad or saving for a rainy day then I suspect that a lot of people will now go for the latter - my family certainly are: might look at a holiday next year - no way are we going to fight our way through crowded airports and transport infrastructure only weeks after a pandemic!!!

DvEsp787 31st Mar 2020 03:49

It is sad to see these airlines closing down one after the other. Though, I think I will take up a job and go ahead with modular training.

Thanks!

flocci_non_faccio 31st Mar 2020 05:46

There will be no jobs for ANY pilots, let alone cadets, for the next decade at least. It is beyond belief that people are still even considering training now.

Conservatively, there will shortly be 3-4000 unemployed pilots on the market in the UK alone once the inevitable redundancies kick in. The majority will never get a flying job ever again.

Northern Monkey 31st Mar 2020 08:03

While the hysterical reaction of the preceding post is likely nonsense, I do think now is a terrible time to consider going into flight training. There will likely be a surplus of pilots worldwide for the foreseeable future and getting a job anytime soon will be impossible.

If you have your heart set on it I would reassess the situation in 12 months and see where we are.

flocci_non_faccio 31st Mar 2020 08:48

Anyone who thinks it's a hysterical reaction has their head firmly in the sand.
easyJet are talking about shrinking by a third: that is 1000+ pilots gone straight away. BA I'd expect to do the same: that's another 1200+ gone. Virgin may well not survive: I'm not sure of their pilot numbers but 8-900 would be a reasonable guess. TUI and Jet2 will shrink by an undetermined amount: let's be optimistic and say they get rid of 500 pilots each. That's 4000+ pilots gone without even considering the smaller carriers or Ryanair which isn't a UK carrier (albeit with a huge UK presence). It's also to say nothing of those still employed after the collapses of TCX and Flybe. Now I've actually looked in more depth, my original estimate of 3-4000 unemployed pilots looks wildly optimistic. It is probably closer to 6000, the majority of whom will never fly again and will never get a job which pays even an appreciable fraction of their current salary.

Be in no doubt that there is absolutely no reason to have even the faintest glimmer of hope.

bingofuel 31st Mar 2020 09:00

Assuming you are fairly young, Initially get a job/ skill that will give you a good standard of living as your main employment. Join a flying club and learn to fly to PPL standard, slowly develop your skills and enjoy your flying. Then in 10 years time if the Pilot market recovers you should be financially stable and can take the risk of modular training ( or whatever the system is then) and gain a professional licence. At that point you will have some experience, and be ‘freshly’ out of training which is beneficial when job hunting. If you really want to fly you will manage it at some point in your life but it may be a ‘second career’ much later on.


Northern Monkey 31st Mar 2020 10:38


Originally Posted by flocci_non_faccio (Post 10734253)
Anyone who thinks it's a hysterical reaction has their head firmly in the sand.
easyJet are talking about shrinking by a third: that is 1000+ pilots gone straight away. BA I'd expect to do the same: that's another 1200+ gone. Virgin may well not survive: I'm not sure of their pilot numbers but 8-900 would be a reasonable guess. TUI and Jet2 will shrink by an undetermined amount: let's be optimistic and say they get rid of 500 pilots each. That's 4000+ pilots gone without even considering the smaller carriers or Ryanair which isn't a UK carrier (albeit with a huge UK presence). It's also to say nothing of those still employed after the collapses of TCX and Flybe. Now I've actually looked in more depth, my original estimate of 3-4000 unemployed pilots looks wildly optimistic. It is probably closer to 6000, the majority of whom will never fly again and will never get a job which pays even an appreciable fraction of their current salary.

Be in no doubt that there is absolutely no reason to have even the faintest glimmer of hope.

What are you basing those projections on, other than licking your finger and sticking it up in the wind? Why do you think BA will shrink by a third and not one half, or a quarter, or an eighth?

The reality is no one knows how this is going to play out, exactly. We can't say for sure what demand will be in 5 years from now. Anyone claiming otherwise is full of hot air and nothing else. What is needed is a common sense approach. Do not start pilot training now. Build up your cash reserve as much as possible and adopt a wait and see approach. That's the most any of us can do, whether we are currently employed or not.

VariablePitchP 31st Mar 2020 11:00


Originally Posted by DvEsp787 (Post 10732900)
Hey, this is my first post on PPRuNe.

I am hoping to start my Integrated ATPL course by the end of this year/next year but, I have been seeing threads on PPRuNe saying that the bonanza of pilot shortage would simply not exist for the next 5-10 years/after COVID.
To quote, Flying Clog posted under Rumors and news: "The aviation sector is going to contract by 50% for at least the next 5-10 years, and will never, in our lifetimes, recover to the dizzy heights of 2019".
I am just another aspiring airline pilot but looking at the current and predicted situation should I look for something else rather than becoming a pilot?

Please correct me if I am wrong and I would love some advice, feedback, thoughts or whether I should pursue this dream forward...

Firstly, if Flying Clog could actually predict the future he wouldn’t be posting on here, he’d be counting his twentieth billion as a stock trader in Manhattan. You get my point... Not saying it’s an invalid opinion, but it is just an opinion.

I think it depends on how you’re funding the training as to what you should do. 3 options really

1. Your parents are loaded and are paying for the course, then go integrated. Money isn’t an issue so don’t need to worry about being modular and working on the side. Even if it takes you a bit of time to get the job you’ll have fun training and it’ll all be reasonably consistent if it’s from one provider. And in the unlikely event you never get a job it doesn’t really matter.
2. Parents are providing you security to remortgage/get a loan. I’d be careful going down this route at the moment because, whilst the economy may well rebound and you could get hired quickly, it might not. You don’t want to turf your parents out of their house because you can’t repay your loan. To be honest in this scenario the funding is all or nothing so I’d just leave it a year and reassess. 80k vs 100k modular vs integrated isn’t the issue here.
3. You’re saving to pay for it. Therefore you’re presumably in a good job already? If not, go and get one that allows you to save. Then go modular, worst case you slowly get hours and keep working. Best case you can suddenly turn on the taps and fire out all your licence requirements sharpish.

Advice about 10 years in another career first? Bit extreme for a backup job. Remember, most people have a back up job only as a backup, most don’t actually use it and if they do only for a short time. Unless you lose your medical or are just terrible at flying, there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be able to be a pilot for most of your working life. Don’t find many accountants who first got a two year plumbing qualification as a ‘backup’. 9/11 passed, as did the global crash. COVID is worse, no doubt about it, but the worlds population will keep increasing, as will people’s desire to fly. Long term this will be a (long and somewhat painful) blip.

You wouldn’t suddenly sell your pension fund just because the markets have crashed and never buy shares again? Why? Because you know it will recover if you ride it out, just the same for flying.

flocci_non_faccio 31st Mar 2020 11:21


What are you basing those projections on, other than licking your finger and sticking it up in the wind? Why do you think BA will shrink by a third and not one half, or a quarter, or an eighth.
I'm basing them on observation and common sense. I actually think that my numbers are still massively optimistic. I'd be very surprised if more than half of currently employed pilots in the UK keep their jobs.

Northern Monkey 31st Mar 2020 11:40

I think maybe you need to go and sit in a quiet room and listen to some headspace for a while. Turn off the news. Unplug.

Doom mongers are two a penny at the moment and your "observation and common sense" are worth precisely diddly squat right now. You can't see the future any more than I, or anyone else for that matter.

bluewhy 31st Mar 2020 14:14

Well said NM. Totally agreed. Keyboard terrorism is not helping anyone at the moment. Especially people that are dead worried about their training and investments.

Some people need to seriously take a break.

LeoBruce123 31st Mar 2020 21:52

A lot of scare-mongering here frankly. I understand people trying to advise, but there's a lot of personal opinion in how they think the industry will fair, and ultimately, no one knows what's going to happen so making rash predictions isn't helping.

Undoubtedly, the aviation industry has been severely disrupted by COVID-19; not a surprise. However, before people start plucking these numbers off the top of their head "oh yeah it'll be a decade before the industry gets back to normal" or "don't even think about training", people need to realise that the industry simply cannot be predicted accurately in this current moment.

The coming weeks and months will be the decider in how the industry will fair in the foreseeable future. I acknowledge that it will be a rough regeneration of the industry, but it will get back to some form of normality. When and how? No one knows and that's a fact.

If you're sitting here and thinking about starting training, I wouldn't do anything soon. Just wait. As I said, these coming months will give a better insight into how the industry will cope, because frankly, we haven't seen the worst yet, therefore we don't know what to expect and thus base our predictions on.

You have got to remember that most training courses last 18+ months, so you'll be entering the industry in 2022 or there abouts. By 2022 and beyond, the industry we're looking at today will be very different. That's something you should consider.
Whether the industry in 2022 is actually healthy, once again, no one knows. It could be that there is a large pilot surplus, and thus little room for new cadet vacancies; or it could be a recovering industry with signs of hope and growth.

Bottom line, no one knows. Best advice I can give is to just monitor the industry in these coming months, it will give a good indication in how the industry will recover in the future, and when you've got that, then you'll be able to make more solid decisions on training. At the moment, it's too early to make predictions because a lot can happen in a very short space of time in this current climate.

A320LGW 31st Mar 2020 23:04


Originally Posted by DvEsp787 (Post 10732900)
Hey, this is my first post on PPRuNe.

I am hoping to start my Integrated ATPL course by the end of this year/next year but, I have been seeing threads on PPRuNe saying that the bonanza of pilot shortage would simply not exist for the next 5-10 years/after COVID.
To quote, Flying Clog posted under Rumors and news: "The aviation sector is going to contract by 50% for at least the next 5-10 years, and will never, in our lifetimes, recover to the dizzy heights of 2019".
I am just another aspiring airline pilot but looking at the current and predicted situation should I look for something else rather than becoming a pilot?

Please correct me if I am wrong and I would love some advice, feedback, thoughts or whether I should pursue this dream forward...

If you have your heart absolutely set on becoming a pilot, then you become a pilot. Do not let anyone on here or elsewhere convince you otherwise.

In this industry there are lots of people who chose to become pilots without having their absolute heart and soul set on it, these are the naysayers of today and people who complain as much as they breathe. Non-coincidentally these are also 'the sky is falling' doomsday folk on here.

I can happily say that despite every downside to the job and uncertainty of the industry I still would not give up this career for anything. You will have found out for yourself by now that a number of our colleagues do not share the same opinion and think we're better off being in all manner of other jobs. I personally feel that opinion is absurd, yes we are going through a hard time, but name me an industry other than health services, petrol stations and supermarkets that isn't? Things will get better.

For anyone to imply no one will hire pilots post this event for 5-10 years, that's fanciful. We will need pilots before then and i would bet my house there will be an airline hiring again within the next 2/3 years, it is as sure as day. There will always be unemployed pilots, throughout one of the biggest hiring booms this industry has seen (2015-2018) there were still unemployed pilots. That's the nature of the world, that doesn't mean no one will be hiring!

If i was pre-ATPL i would consider starting sometime later this year or early next year. It's a good 20 month lead time from start to finish anyway, so between right now and then is about 3 years if you start early 2021, the entire landscape will be different again.

I wish you all the very best.

macdo 31st Mar 2020 23:18

Thought I'd add a personal experience. I qualified on the exact month the UK job market for pilots collapsed a couple of decades ago. It took 2 1/2 years to get a foothold in a turboprop and a further 2 years before a jet job came along. During that time I continued to Instruct and scratched out a meagre living. Eventually, due to family circumstances I had to give up flying and loaded bags at Heathrow for a year to survive. By lucky chance in conversation with a management pilot on the ramp I got told that an airline was recruiting and I got a job. After countless CV's sent and banging on doors in person, my only interview and job offer was by chance. The point I wanted to make is that you must be able to plan a survival strategy for however long you think this Covid19 earthquake will take to pass. Potentially, there could be literally 1000's of qualified and experienced pilots on the market this time next year, all of whom will get a look in before you. Airlines are ruthless scavengers of talent. If one of my children was intent on flying I would advise them to delay for at least 3 years and use the time to gain another way of earning a crust to fall back on before following their dream.

student88 1st Apr 2020 00:12


Originally Posted by flocci_non_faccio (Post 10734253)
Anyone who thinks it's a hysterical reaction has their head firmly in the sand.
easyJet are talking about shrinking by a third: that is 1000+ pilots gone straight away. BA I'd expect to do the same: that's another 1200+ gone. Virgin may well not survive: I'm not sure of their pilot numbers but 8-900 would be a reasonable guess. TUI and Jet2 will shrink by an undetermined amount: let's be optimistic and say they get rid of 500 pilots each. That's 4000+ pilots gone without even considering the smaller carriers or Ryanair which isn't a UK carrier (albeit with a huge UK presence). It's also to say nothing of those still employed after the collapses of TCX and Flybe. Now I've actually looked in more depth, my original estimate of 3-4000 unemployed pilots looks wildly optimistic. It is probably closer to 6000, the majority of whom will never fly again and will never get a job which pays even an appreciable fraction of their current salary.

Be in no doubt that there is absolutely no reason to have even the faintest glimmer of hope.

Unfounded speculation and work of fiction at best. It's estimated over 700,000 new commercial pilots will be needed worldwide over the next 20 years. In the mean time:
  • Hold your position, learn about the industry (preferably not from PPRuNe or airliners.net - there are a number of 'industry experts' on these sites who have no idea what they're talking about).
  • Focus all your attention for now on your education and/or get a well-paid job which gives you plenty of time off (you'll need it when it comes to ATPLs/modular training).
  • Save, save, save as much money as you can over from now onwards, you need to minimise your exposure to debt as much as possible from start to finish.
  • Don't start your PPL until you have enough money to finish it.
  • Go on eBay and find yourself some decent second hand PPL textbooks and start learning the theory (I recommend the Air Pilot's Manuals).
  • Apply for a PPL scholarship next time around with GAPAN or Air BP.
  • Look into joining a gliding club.

q400_driver 1st Apr 2020 14:00

No economic downturn in the history has ever lasted for 8-10 years, not even Great Depression, no post war recessions, nothing. In 2011-14 if you would go for a CPL, people would call you crazy, same doomsday agenda, the only way to get a job, even in low costs was to go fly in Africa/Asia for a while, get 1500h and then MAYBE somebody would even bother to invite you for an assessment. Times changed over night and we saw some of the best years for young cadets in decades.

Nothing has really changed in the dynamics of global Economy. Sure, next few years will be tough, but as always, things will pick up. Right now most likely most decent schools in Europe have shut down already or will close shortly. Wait it out a little bit, there's nothing else you can do. Having a second career for times like these is a good advice.

Once the restrictions start to lift, one can assume an influx of high quality instructors into training industry. You want to do your pilot training when the economy is down - this typically means you get a good product for a low price. When times are good for the airlines, schools see high turnaround of instructors and you will deal with many instructors who will only have some 50-100h more than you do. Prices will be high and the attitudes from schools will go down. Nobody gives a toss about you when there are other students piling up.

Yes airlines are firing a LOT of pilots at the moment, but here's the thing..
First of all, airlines also have a LOT of metal sitting on the ground. These planes cost ridiculous money in leasing every month and there's no way out of it. Some airlines will go bankrupt but the machines will still make losses to somebody, be it a lessor, bank, an oil magnate, it doesn't matter - at some point they will need to fly again to pay themselves off and you will need people for that.
The second thing is - our human ability to listen to news, be intimidated, living in a lock down can only last for a year at best. Pretty soon the number of covid victims becomes nothing more than statistics and we will want to get back to our lives. It is in our DNA to travel. People need to get places, be it for study, business, family or pleasure. I can easily see governments starting to lift restrictions on many different things in next couple of months- ideally we could lift travel restrictions tomorrow with condition that everybody must wear a mask and people with symptoms are denied travel, we could make it a norm for most of our daily activities. Covid won't go away any time soon, but we will learn to live with it.

DvEsp787 1st Apr 2020 16:54

Yes I think reassessing the situation after a period would be best.

Thank you for your response.

flybyschool 1st Apr 2020 17:47

This is an extremely controversial topic... but I agree we need to take some time to breathe and think.

I would suggest monitoring this source of information to see how deep and more importantly, how long will this have an impact on airlines.
You will see scheduled flights have taken an huge drop in the last weeks. Some countries are dropping by nearly 90%!!!
On the brighter side (if any), China dropped by 71% then to recover to 37% (and then drop again)
By looking at this data, my interpretation is that the drop will be extremely significant but will also be limited in duration.

The issue is that most airlines have razor-thin margins...so, without support from governments, a lot of them will collapse... but i believe some others will come up!
The desire of people to travel and do business is much stronger than the individual companies
Stay strong, stay safe!
Alex
https://www.oag.com/hs-fs/hubfs/Coro...obal-Table.jpg
https://www.oag.com/coronavirus-airline-schedules-data

Christopher Robin 2nd Apr 2020 10:44

I would like to wish you luck and say enjoy your flying see you on the flight line one day

Oh and it is not the end of aviation full stop.

covec 2nd Apr 2020 22:04

I have 1000 hours FI. Assessment cx. Friends flying with the airline tell me that all TR training stopped. And only Flybe or ATR TR crews will be considered now. This was before CV-19, so Lord knows now.

Banana Joe 3rd Apr 2020 11:52

I suggest modular, but not sure I would suggest the same to a UK national with Brexit, Flybe, Monarch and possible redundancies at BA.

Banana Joe 3rd Apr 2020 12:44


Originally Posted by q400_driver (Post 10735729)
No economic downturn in the history has ever lasted for 8-10 years, not even Great Depression, no post war recessions, nothing. In 2011-14 if you would go for a CPL, people would call you crazy, same doomsday agenda, the only way to get a job, even in low costs was to go fly in Africa/Asia for a while, get 1500h and then MAYBE somebody would even bother to invite you for an assessment. Times changed over night and we saw some of the best years for young cadets in decades.

Nothing has really changed in the dynamics of global Economy. Sure, next few years will be tough, but as always, things will pick up. Right now most likely most decent schools in Europe have shut down already or will close shortly. Wait it out a little bit, there's nothing else you can do. Having a second career for times like these is a good advice.

Once the restrictions start to lift, one can assume an influx of high quality instructors into training industry. You want to do your pilot training when the economy is down - this typically means you get a good product for a low price. When times are good for the airlines, schools see high turnaround of instructors and you will deal with many instructors who will only have some 50-100h more than you do. Prices will be high and the attitudes from schools will go down. Nobody gives a toss about you when there are other students piling up.

Yes airlines are firing a LOT of pilots at the moment, but here's the thing..
First of all, airlines also have a LOT of metal sitting on the ground. These planes cost ridiculous money in leasing every month and there's no way out of it. Some airlines will go bankrupt but the machines will still make losses to somebody, be it a lessor, bank, an oil magnate, it doesn't matter - at some point they will need to fly again to pay themselves off and you will need people for that.
The second thing is - our human ability to listen to news, be intimidated, living in a lock down can only last for a year at best. Pretty soon the number of covid victims becomes nothing more than statistics and we will want to get back to our lives. It is in our DNA to travel. People need to get places, be it for study, business, family or pleasure. I can easily see governments starting to lift restrictions on many different things in next couple of months- ideally we could lift travel restrictions tomorrow with condition that everybody must wear a mask and people with symptoms are denied travel, we could make it a norm for most of our daily activities. Covid won't go away any time soon, but we will learn to live with it.

Excellent post. I agree with everything said.

kpd 4th Apr 2020 11:47

very interesting question
 

Originally Posted by the1917 (Post 10739200)
I would urge you to do your own research and make your educated decision based upon facts, rather than taking my opinions or anybody else’s. Personally I like the truth. Unfortunately very few people are true realists and therefore a lot of the guidance you receive here will be influenced by the insecurities of the poster.

The facts to research should be:

- how many licensed ATPL’s exist and how many are in employment
​​​​​​- how many airframes are on order and how many orders have been cancelled
​​​​​- what is the UN’s objective from the cop26 climate change summit
​​​​- insurance companies’ current and future approach to virus cover
- the extent of quantitative easing and the impact upon the value of the £
- which airlines are making unsustainable losses and how many pilots they employ
- the level of investment being made into virtual connectivity
- the level of investment being made into aviation

Once you’ve gained a reasonable background knowledge of these key influencers the answer will be black and white, even if it’s not the answer you, or I, want to hear.

I will leave personal opinion out of this reply as I very much respect your position and genuinely hope that you make the right decision.


very informative reply. I have always wondered about the first point"- how many licensed ATPL’s exist and how many are in employment?"

how do you find that information say for UK? Thank you

planesandthings 4th Apr 2020 18:26

I don't think there is a comprehensive way to do so, but a quick search of social media currently shows a number of pilots in the UK working minimum wage jobs to survive because they have been made redundant or their company has gone bust. . After the flying schools keep spewing cadets out, Flybe's demise and Thomas Cook (A number of the pilots who had new offers have now lost them) there must be up to 2000 people out of work.

qwertyuiop 4th Apr 2020 18:32

I have had a fantastic career in aviation. It looks like it has been cut short by about a decade. I have 20k hours on a mix of military, Boeing and Airbus.
if you want to enjoy flying I reckon buying a C150 or similar is the best bet. Sad but true.

Black Jake 4th Apr 2020 18:38

Newby pilot with no experience in next couple of years? Seriously? Suggest you invest your parent's savings in a trade likely to be needed - how about undertaker?

tsvpilot 5th Apr 2020 02:04


Originally Posted by the1917 (Post 10739630)
I couldn’t agree more.

It is refreshing to see somebody of your experience offering truly useful insight as the OP could be about to make a monumental mistake and your unselfish comments may just help him / her.

There is plenty of dramatic end of the world "insights". The only useful insight anyone needs right now is to have patience and wait, we are still in mere weeks into this. The worst thing you can do is to rush into final conclusions of any kind.

parkfell 5th Apr 2020 07:56

Those with an absolute passion (and ability) about becoming a pilot will continue to train when the restrictions are lifted, despite what the doom merchants say. Those without a burning desire to fly will hold back and might even go off the idea of becoming a junior birdman.

This may be regarded as the acid test, as a not inconsiderable number decide to train because of the perceived status/glamour associated with this profession.

Give me someone who demonstrated their passion as a “hangar rat” at their local flying club, or avid spotter any day of the week.

Sir Paul Nurse at the Crick Institute believes it will be a year before a vaccine is available for C-19.
That will bring some much needed certainty and confidence back to everyone.

VariablePitchP 5th Apr 2020 11:56


Originally Posted by parkfell (Post 10740038)
Those with an absolute passion (and ability) about becoming a pilot will continue to train when the restrictions are lifted, despite what the doom merchants say. Those without a burning desire to fly will hold back and might even go off the idea of becoming a junior birdman.

This may be regarded as the acid test, as a not inconsiderable number decide to train because of the perceived status/glamour associated with this profession.

Give me someone who demonstrated their passion as a “hangar rat” at their local flying club, or avid spotter any day of the week.

Is that not a concern though? Now that the jobs market will dry up, no airline will be sponsoring people so the pool of talent is yet again reduced simply to people with rich parents who can afford to do the training and not worry about the risks of not getting a job.

You say you want to fly with a load of spotters? Really?! Surely you want a flight deck filled with pilots with a diverse background, people who have real life experience in previous jobs not just a load of flight sim nuts, I couldn’t think of anything worse, imagine having to sit through that chat for 12 hours every time you go to work :{

You say you want people with passion and ability to do it, this will achieve the opposite. You don’t need ability to be a pilot, just a big wallet sadly.

parkfell 5th Apr 2020 13:25


Originally Posted by VariablePitchP (Post 10740234)
Is that not a concern though? Now that the jobs market will dry up, no airline will be sponsoring people so the pool of talent is yet again reduced simply to people with rich parents who can afford to do the training and not worry about the risks of not getting a job.

You say you want to fly with a load of spotters? Really?! Surely you want a flight deck filled with pilots with a diverse background, people who have real life experience in previous jobs not just a load of flight sim nuts, I couldn’t think of anything worse, imagine having to sit through that chat for 12 hours every time you go to work :{

You say you want people with passion and ability to do it, this will achieve the opposite. You don’t need ability to be a pilot, just a big wallet sadly.

The only airline fully sponsoring prior to C-19 was Aer Lingus, and their students are both enthusiastic and talented. A few other outfits sponsor the type rating with bonding.

Yes, rich parents will continue to fund their children, although that is likely to be fewer in the short term with their investments taking a hit. A significant number of parents have remortgaged their houses to fund the training. I suspect that it would be a concern to parents if the opportunities for employment where minimal?

The modular route undoubtedly does produce the most diverse source of pilots, and doesn’t necessary require the “big wallet” up front, if you continue to work and save like the majority of those on this route. I do maintain that a passion and determination are essential ingredients for this route, or in my day the “self improver route”. No courses as such. Simply apply for the written exams, and sufficient flying training to pass the flying tests.

Regarding the spotters ~ I should have said in ones youth, with others being “hangar rats”. A stage which young people go through; part of the metamorphosis which embryonic pilots go through before they start their journey.

The “flight sim nuts” invariably stay as ‘flight sim nuts’. They have been known to have their live on line flying skills assessed by a current TRE. I know at least airline pilot who carried out this rôle !! I was surprised when I was told that by a reliable source.






A320LGW 6th Apr 2020 10:03


Originally Posted by parkfell (Post 10740296)
The “flight sim nuts” invariably stay as ‘flight sim nuts’. They have been known to have their live on line flying skills assessed by a current TRE. I know at least airline pilot who carried out this rôle !! I was surprised when I was told that by a reliable source.

I maintain that a 4 sector day in an aircraft is infinitely less stressful than trying to do a flight on any flight sim, between the system bugs and sim crashes combined with the nightmare of trying to navigate the various online tools for vatsim etc for which you need a degree in IT, I shudder to think back to all the bad memories.

Strolling down to the gate at 6am coffee in hand and getting on board to start with the prelims and getting the show on the road has proven to be a far more stress free and unimaginably more enjoyable experience.

Anyhow, I agree, those with a burning passion for flight and to be upfront, those who feel their life wouldn't be complete without becoming a pilot - they will make it. This situation is very serious, but it will pass, like all other storms.

My advice to anyone sitting around, be they in school or university or laid off from another job they got involved with, I would advise doing something useful. Try to learn a new language, get a job in the local supermarket or volunteer, do something. When all this is over, it wouldn't be beyond reason to be asked in an interview what you did with your time during the COVID crisis. It will be a great indicator of what kind of a person you are. Did you lounge about all day or did you try to advance yourself in another area? Lots of brownie points I expect for those who can say they signed up to an online language course or helped the local volunteer group in checking up on the elderly neighbours etc.

kpd 6th Apr 2020 14:19


Originally Posted by the1917 (Post 10740072)
According to the CAA there were 13,321 licensed ATPL’s and CPL’s in 2018

thanks for that

UAV689 9th Apr 2020 10:39

If anyone is still considering flying training, do it modular at this time. Keep down a job at the same time. Pace it out. I chose this path in 2008, and dragged my training out, came out of it with no debt, and a backup career.

All the the lads I know that went to the glossy and beautiful integrated schools regretted it, they all sat on the job pile for years but with 100k loans for themselves or their parents to service, which at the time of a recession is madness. Many never got a job and walked away with a 100k beermat.

It it took me a number of years after the recession to get that job, and it was on the other side of the world as a bush pilot, until I got picked up by a lcc in Europe.

Be be prepared I am afraid for a long wait, so slow down training, try and get into as minimal debt as possible. Do not fall for the big schools lies in that they can get you into the right seat with their connections, airlines will not hire now for r, with exception being perhaps ryr and wizz. Salaries will take years to recover.

The effects are already happening. Lufty shutting down German wings. Do not forget that legacy carriers make a large portion of money from business travel, and that is not just in business class seats. Companies outside of aviation are shedding staff, current staff are getting used to working remotely, video conferencing has increased dramatically and it will take a long time for customers to change this mentality.

When legacies stop hiring, they are at the top of the food chain, it slows everything else. I expect even the RAF will slow down as short serve commissions sign on again as there is no civvy street work for them.

Post 2008 it took Ba and AF years to hire again. I expect something similar.

parkfell 10th Apr 2020 09:31

The issue as ever is one of confidence. That will only start to improve once you are eventually vaccinated, or having experienced / suffered from C-19 you acquire the antibody immunity. And then the question arises how long protection will last.

I would not be entirely surprised that “evidence” in some shape or form will be required before you travel?

Although the air con cabin filters are extremely effective (99+%), anyone within say 2-3m of your seat is a potential threat. Would you want to take that risk whilst unprotected?

ATOs will clearly have a reduction in new customers until a much clearer picture emerges.
Historically supply has always lagged behind demand.

CaptainCriticalAngle 10th Apr 2020 12:07

I received an email two days ago from L3 saying that they were now conducting assessments online and are still encouraging people to apply. Apparently they are also giving ATPL theory lessons online, which is good for the students I guess.

I'm a modular fan myself and have never bought into these expensive pilot factories. I'm just slightly perturbed by the nature of the email; they are still pushing people to apply. I guess if you started now, in 18 months the outlook could be better, but what a gamble.

For what it's worth, here's my tuppence for any wannabe pilots reading this - avoid MPLs, avoid the factories. Big is not always safe. Small schools are great and you won't be just a number. Modular produces better all-round pilots. Any training captain worth his salt (and it's normally a he) will know that.

planesandthings 10th Apr 2020 17:00

L3 never ceases to amaze. Then again any ATO will become desperate with this current situation.

Learning from home with L3? Why on earth would anyone pay for partial distance learning at full whack. Who knows what they're marketing about the future, but it certainly isn't the truth.

Anyone thinking about signing for training on the dotted line right now needs to seriously question their own decision making processes. Anyone graduating now will be waiting two years for a job behind all the unemployment created.

Wait it out. Concur with the above comments completely.

tsvpilot 10th Apr 2020 18:51


Originally Posted by CaptainCriticalAngle (Post 10745678)
For what it's worth, here's my tuppence for any wannabe pilots reading this - avoid MPLs, avoid the factories. Big is not always safe. Small schools are great and you won't be just a number. Modular produces better all-round pilots. Any training captain worth his salt (and it's normally a he) will know that.

Anything to back up the above generalizations, other than mere speculation? I doubt there's any correlation with modular generally producing better pilots than integrated, nor small schools generally being better than big. All comes down to the individual level of talent & motivation and the quality of the training provided, regardless of how it's done. And you are also suggesting that male training captains are generally more capable than females, how so? To me, your comment sounds more like ignorance than knowledge.

CaptainCriticalAngle 10th Apr 2020 19:36

Hello tsvpilot,

Right then, where do I start. Well, it's certainly been a long time since anyone called me ignorant, but look, I accept that this is not a scientific argument and neither side can actually win. But I'm sticking to my opinion that modular studies produces more well-rounded pilots. I could probably write a book about it but this isn't the place for a 20,000-word analysis.

I have been to most of the big integrated school, on more than one occasion. I know people who have been through the system and they tell me they felt like a number and not a student. I know people who have forked out £110,000 to study at a big school in Spain and are currently completing their ATPL theory studies online in London. They have mixed feelings about the system. Certainly, FI/student ratio is an issue, among others.

And I reiterate that I would never recommend anyone do an MPL. Well before the commercial aviation sector recovers to the level where they're taking on cadets in large numbers, there will be jobs to apply for in other sectors (just look at the NPAS website). An MPL will be useless here unless you spend another small fortune in training.

And I really do believe smaller schools have a more extended family-like atmosphere and that suits some people better. You can do an 'integrated modular' of course and you still have the flexibility to take a break and it's significantly cheaper because smaller schools don't have massive marketing overheads.

Lastly, and most crucially, where did I state that men are better pilots than women? My guess is that English is not your first language and that something has been lost in translation. I could have written 'every training captain worth his/her salt'. And anyway, the fact remains that most training captains are men, although I am sure this will change with time.

Happy Landings!

UAV689 10th Apr 2020 22:40

Look out for the usa total workforce, 10% have lost their jobs in 2 weeks.

The secondary fall out of mortgage defaults could be worse than 2008. There is a phrase, if America sneezes, we catch the cold. Well this is worse than a sneeze, this is going to be bad.

I really do hate to say it, to train now is mad, but if you must, do it modular over a number of years.

To hand a mortgage amount of cash to an integrated school does not show good situational awareness!


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