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What are the job prospects for new CPLs? (MERGED)

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What are the job prospects for new CPLs? (MERGED)

Old 23rd Nov 2006, 10:30
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You asked much the same question yesterday.

Click HERE


Heliport
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Old 23rd Nov 2006, 21:31
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Question Job market for new CPL(H) in Europe?

Been training in the US & A... Decided to head on back to Europe. Going through the torturous CPL (H) ground school at the moment, and I'm getting different signals about the market out there. Especially since I'm sitting with a mere 220 hours TT. Any opinions? Not among the desperate ones, since I don't expect to land anything huge with a couple of hundred hours under my belt, but I thought I'd consult the European market for the first time. . . Glad to be here...

Another thing... This "Italian Question Bank" I hear about, is it as valuable as I hear? If it is, it could make for some christmas-time litterature for me, so be honest, please.

...Anywho, if there are any rotorheads out there, I'd love to hear from you. I'm curious what the next few years will be like. Actually, I'm more curious as to if I will pass these exams. I've been flying for a year and a half, thinking I'm all that & a bag of chips, waving my FAA license around... I've barely dipped my toe in the water, haven't I...? =)

- A
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 14:58
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Takes rose tinted glasses off

FBR,
Excuse the brevity and directness of my response.

Particularly for the UK as a newly qualified CPL(H) with minimal hours I'm afraid your licence is basically worthless. Chances of finding any work with a basic CPL - almost zero. Chances of finding enough work to survive financially, zero less a thousand

You'll have two options once you have the CPL both cost roughly the same (about £40K).

1) Build additional hours and then get an FI ticket. No guarantee of a job.Lots of dubious companies. If you are lucky enough to find a job expect to work long hours, be poorly treated and very poorly paid (Think in many cases glorified slave labour with scraps of flying). Long term - little prospect of any real progress.

2) Multi engine Instrument rating. Very high risk. Only real option is to look towards the North Sea 'big three' and hope they are recruiting and your face fits. UK onshore with minimal hours and a 'wet inked' IR you stand no chance.

Sorry for the reality check. Search the archived 'Training and Job prospects thread' and you'll read similar. The archived thread is the best place to start, and will explain the limited responses made to your post.

There is no easy way to break into this industry. The biggest factor is LUCK.

To answer your last comment - You've yet to fill the pond, let alone dip your toe in it

FW
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 16:04
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@flingingwings

Gotta say that a pretty harsh and cynical view.

The work is there you just go out and find it. Yeah in the beginning its tough but what job isn't when your learning the trade.

Was at my local flying school Tuesday and asked about prospects. The Chief FI said we would take 3 FI's right now. Trouble is getting a FI who knows what side of the heli to get into.

In short if you not a dumb bunny there is work.

Being personable with the right attitude goes a long way
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 16:22
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About the Italian Database - most of the plugs have been filled on that now (I know the guy who did some of it) - it's quite old, but still useful as representative questions rather than real ones. It's now six editions removed.

Good luck!

Phil
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 16:48
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Velboy,

Sorry I don't agree. My comments aren't harsh, they're a realistic honest opinion on the current state of the industry in the UK for low hours guys. A touch cynical I concede but I've self funded nowt to CPL-FI- and ME IR and therefore feel I am qualified to comment upon my experiences and those of others I know.

Perhaps as a CPL holder you'd care to elaborate on how much revenue flying you complete? Do you fund your own LPC's and base and line checks? Care to elaborate on your own profiles comment of 'Computer consultant wanting to fly'? Or why other posts of yours ask for people willing to share hours building costs? No point implying a straight CPL will get you work, when you feel you need to self fund extra hours yourself.

This ISN'T an attack. It's a reality check that will allow FBR to decide how much he is willing to gamble in order to 'live his dream'. Perhaps FBR has no extra cash for any additional training and no other trade upon which to gain an income........

Did this CFi tell you how much an FI course with him would cost? How many hours per year you'd fly? Why do they need three instructors in November? Can any school guarantee you a position post course? (Ok now I'm bordering on cynical - but there are lots of additional factors to consider. Remember a flying schools job is to sell you training NOT employment!)

My views are only there to enable FBR to make an informed decision before he parts with some serious amounts of cash. And I hasten to add similar views have been noted on this forum for some time. Sections of this industry survive on the willingness of low hours guys to keep paying for stuff themselves and/or work for free. A mornings phoning round will elicit the turn over of new FI's (at some schools) and the terms and conditions offered. If you still don't believe me I'll give you the numbers of a few current experienced FI's and you can hear their views first hand. As a former one myself I have nothing but respect for the vast majority of FI's - they work harder for less than any other section of this industry I have encountered.

I'm not saying FBR or anybody else for that matter shouldn't go for it. But, better to know the risks and approach 'the dream' with your eyes wide open rather than listen to sales hype.

Within many schools a 'dead mans shoes' policy exists. When somebody above you moves on, you make progress. For small operators many aren't willing to allow all to progress simultaneously. It's harsh, but hey that's life.

I don't regret any of my flying. I regret some of the places I've worked though and some of the rubbish I've had to tolerate in order to make progress. I am also lucky in that I now have a very good flying job, with an excellent company.

Being qualified, enthusiastic and personable are all good traits, but ultimately LUCK remains the biggest factor. I was lucky. Are you going to guarantee FBR the same?

FW

Last edited by Flingingwings; 24th Nov 2006 at 17:11.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 18:05
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Well said.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 18:45
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@flingingwings

As you can see I don't post much on here. I know why now. Really must update my profile sometime.


I think we look at the glass differently.


Enjoy yourself.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 20:03
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Velboy,

Please lose the chip on your shoulder. It would be more benificial to FBR and many others if you took the time to explain your differing views.

This industry is 2% qualification and ability and 98% right place at right time. What is your objection to FBR being presented with all the facts?

I can only comment on my experiences and on those of others I know. As you hold a CPL perhaps you'd share how you attained that all important foot in the door? How much revenue flying do you complete each year? Potential earnings? Long term prospects? Mine is a fair honest reflection of the difficulty a low hours cpl will face, as somebody who's been there, and who now works in the Uk onshore SPIFR section of the industry. I fear (as per your April 2006 posting regarding R22 and R44 hire near Chester for an ICAO CPL holder who wishes to fly for recreation only) that you'll be unable to provide any of the answers that FBR and others pray for.

Alternatively if you don't hold an FI rating perhaps you would share details of this school looking for 3 full time FI's as I'm sure many would be interested.

Your first impressions are way off the mark. You will be hard pushed to find anybody more committed to this industry and more upfront about the potential pitfalls. I looked at your profile to see what you were basing your views upon. Amending your profile won't change the reality FBR and others will face.

Take or leave my views. It matters not to me. I love going to work. I loved teaching people to fly. I risked everything and my gamble paid off. It doesn't change the fact that it was still a gamble.

FBR - I'm truly sorry this industry is no brighter for low hours CPL's. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

FW

Last edited by Flingingwings; 24th Nov 2006 at 20:14.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 20:18
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Flingingwings has it spot on. I am in exactly (and I mean exactly) same position as him and we know from experience what the score is here in the UK. Any school who says they need 3 instructors, right now, at this time of year is talking out of their chocolate starfish. A, weather is sh*t. B, only reason anyone needs instructors is if they have just lost every instructor they had for one reason or another. Tells you something about that company straight away.

Velboy, with a freshly minted CPL(H) and a couple of hundred hours, you're not gonna get any work, unless you or daddy owns the company of course. Granted, there are one or two people lucky enough to fly a 206 with minimum hours, but if they have a mishap, it really would make things worse for any other low timer coming along.

This industry promises much and gives little. Don't believe all of those flying company owners who will pretty much tell you what you want to hear.
 
Old 24th Nov 2006, 20:21
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I have no chip on my shoulder and I bare no grievance about this wonderful industry.

I totally agree itís about contacts; networking is important in any industry and inevitably that is what will get you in door. The right attitude will keep you there.

I have no objection to FBR being presented all that facts but he wasnít until my comment. I didnít say it was easy just there are breaks to be had and making contacts allows to maximise those breaks

I wish you all the success in your chosen career.

Now if choose to take my comments another way then that your choice and I respect that.
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Old 24th Nov 2006, 22:19
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Iíd just like to say thanks to Flingingwings for setting the very honest tone of this thread. As a PPL(A) holder who got bored of fixed wing and who is currently doing the PPL(H), like many I dream of flying for a living as a helicopter pilot, all spurred on in no small measure by the amount of people in the training industry repeatedly telling me how now is just ĎThe best time in twenty yearsí to be coming into rotary aviation with a fresh issue CPL in the back pocket. However, reading the very honest sitrep in this thread has confirmed what I have always feared deep down Ė as a mid 30ís bod with 200 odd hours under the belt, I will be lucky to land an instructors position. Anything better is probably the same odds equivalent of a lottery win.

Lets just say Iíll not be making enemies in the day job just in case, and Flingingwings, again, thanks for saying it like it is. Some of us newbies like hearing it without the varnish.
 
Old 25th Nov 2006, 07:28
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I love going to work. I loved teaching people to fly. I risked everything and my gamble paid off. It doesn't change the fact that it was still a gamble.
This about says it all. There are many in this position. But for every one whose gamble paid off, there are probably ten still struggling.

Having got my CPL and FI rating, I struggled to get a flying job where I wasn't bullied and treated like shit or spending more on travelling than I was earning. Due to luck and contacts I had a good summer this year (thanks KMS ). But now? One to two hours instructing per day, weather permitting. I'd earn more working in Tesco! Even my very experienced CFI warned me that I'd probably need another string to my bow over winter. Yes, there may be the very occasional school or FI with oodles of work; I'm not saying anyone on here is lying...please tell me where though. But occasional luck isn't to be relied on when considering a career change, any more than assuming you'll win the lottery because a lucky few do. Kissmysquirrel and Flingingwings tell it like it is; believe them!

Talking of second strings to bows, one of mine is writing about what I love, as many of you know. I don't normally blow my own trumpet, but I've just had an article published in Flight Training News on this subject - opportunities in the industry. I'm not saying it's all spot on, but it might help some of you newbies, so may be worth taking a look. (And I did most of the research for it on PPRuNe, so thanks to many of you. )
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Old 25th Nov 2006, 08:48
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At the risk of going off thread, how many wannabees out there are prepared to work overseas? I did my training in South Africa and loved the place so much I decided to stay. It wasn't easy getting work early on but it sounds like I had an easier time than many new CPLs in the UK - and since I got my Instructor rating I have been turning work down.

Once you get around the licence conversion process (assuming you already have a UK CPL - otherwise do the licence here) newly qualified CPLs mostly get work flying R44s for Netstar, tracing stolen cars. Money is poor but you can (just) live on it and you can expect around 25-30 hours per month. Apart from that there is a fair bit of pleasure flights, especially in the coastal areas, cash in transit escorts, photography, game capture (specific rating required) as well as instruction.

On the down side; violent crime, AIDS, poverty, bureacracy (getting a work permit or residents permit will drive you insane). Anyway, it worked for me.
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Old 25th Nov 2006, 11:50
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KMS, Whirlybird - Thanks Some people simply won't listen until multiple people beat reality into them

Chukkablade - You're welcome. having been grossly misled myself I vowed never to treat anybody that way. Thats why I no longer instruct

Vellboy - I never said you need contacts. Contacts may help, but they still provide no guarantees. Reality for many is a 45-70K gamble for nothing in return.

This industry is LUCK, plain and simple. For every individual that tells it like it is, there are 4 or 5 selling it like it isn't (Sorry for nicking your quote FlyingPencil). You help no wannabe implying anything different
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Old 25th Nov 2006, 12:21
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Alot of good advice here ,but you make your own luck ! Spending 70k on a career you wish to start isnt really that much over a life time .Ask yourself a few questions like :

1. How much do I really want this career?
2. Can I do it part time [keep some real money rolling in] ?
3. Am I dreaming of what this job should be like as opposed to what it actually involves ?
4. Am I prepared to work alot of hrs with sometimes little reward ?
5. Did I have difficulty getting or holding on to employment before ?

Etc etc

Its calculated risk ,do the research and dont fall into the marketing trap of seeing yourself in a big shiny helicopter with a flightsuit and helmet after 200 hrs.I think some of the older boys that post here are not giving honest advice. As much as they "hate" their job they wouldnt [couldnt] do anything else !

Ive witnessed lower than average helicopter pilots get the jobs cause their face fits ,sometimes its who you know.
Risk management is something your faced with every day as a heli-pilot so I suggest wannebes have a big picture look at the situation before they spend their dollar.
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Old 25th Nov 2006, 15:06
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At the end of the day Helilad, I'll be one of those guys who spend the £40k+ and give it a go, but Im damn sure going into it with high hopes and low expectations. It's a lottery, and if I dont buy a ticket, I can't win, and thats a fair comparison as to how I view this game. If my face fits someday I'll get my chance, but I accept I'll be one of the many chasing (it would seem) fewer and fewer positions.

Listening to the older guys who a) were never military trained and who did it the civvy way and b) dont have an ulterior motive for painting it all smiles and warm crew rooms, then one consistent theme is that you have to be damned lucky, and be prepared to accept a few hard knockbacks along the way. Also, if you have another trade to fall back on, keep your contacts in that industry, as you may have a few hard winters to endure before the sun finally shines on you. That's advice I recieved from a CPL(H) who was working as a used car salesman the last time I saw him just to make ends meet, and I'm not about to forget it.

My opinion, for the very little its worth, is that any newby who thinks the above 'hard knock' scenarios dont apply to them has so far led a very fortunate, priveledged life - and those tend to come to grinding halts at some point along route.

In the end though, SOMEDAY, it should all be worth it If not, at least I can tell my kids I tried.
 
Old 26th Nov 2006, 04:25
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At what point do employers stop laughing you out of the door in the UK? I am curious about the requirements for an entry level turbine job.
Would a CPL with 500 (or 1000?) turbine in say a 206 be employable?
I'm trying to put a different spin on an already well beaten horse, so forgive me if this has been said before
I'm working on a way to come home from the US, so if any one has any info it is much appreciated.

Last edited by Vee-r; 26th Nov 2006 at 04:43.
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Old 26th Nov 2006, 10:33
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with 1000hrs Turbine time, (multi eng a definite advantage) over 2000hrs TT? JAR CPL? With plenty of night flying experience, Police would probably be interested.
Again, it's supply and demand, and does the face fit. I suppose it all depends on what you're happy to be doing.

Again, i'll say just because someone has a JAR CPL/IR, 1000TT, Commercial experience and turbine time, it doesn't mean there's any work.
 
Old 26th Nov 2006, 11:51
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It's NOT luck, it's attitude. But that goes for every profession. Of course there are pilot shortages but only for people with the right attitude. Paying the money to get a licence doesn't mean anything, everybody can buy the licence.

Working hard, giving it all you have, not beeing picky the first few thousand, will bring you eventually where you want to be. And you're out there on your own, don't expect people to help you. When you get a little help every now and then it's just very nice, but don't expect (or worse demand) it.
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