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Military experience worthless?

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Military experience worthless?

Old 22nd Sep 2012, 23:00
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: England
Age: 22
Posts: 17
so you could fly an interceptor trying to blow up a that could kill millions of citizens or fly a A400m sending aid to somalis devastated by the ongoing war
and airlines find military hours worthless
they deserve a slap right in the head
if i was you go to BA or virgin there accepting military pilots a job as first officers
btw thanks for serving the uk
HumaidDaPlane is offline  
Old 22nd Sep 2012, 23:20
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Delta of Venus
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No Charles its not worthless, but you must accept that being an ex mil pilot no longer carries the kudos it once did. Deltahotel explained it very well. You are now a small fish in a very big pond and you now have to compete with far more experienced fish in this particular sphere of endeavour. As long as you dont bang on about how things were done in "the service" and how brilliant and proper it all was then you should be ok.
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Old 22nd Sep 2012, 23:58
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: UK
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The way I see it you either need command time on either of the two favourites (737 or 320) and be current on them as well as being happy to head East or have no experience at all.

There are plenty of people out there with your kind of hours and experience on those two types who cant find employment, certainly in Europe.

Now one or two of the 'better' airlines have creamed some of the entry airlines F/O's there will no doubt be some gaps that will be filled with those willing to pay to fly.

Good luck!
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Old 23rd Sep 2012, 00:08
  #24 (permalink)  
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Location: edinburgh,uk
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At the moment I think virgin only want those with a Boeing or Airbus rating, I could be wrong tho !
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Old 23rd Sep 2012, 20:42
  #25 (permalink)  
Robert G Mugabe
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I am ex military, my rotary experience ( Army ) 2500 hrs was factored at 0.4 when I left. That was last century. Now Military Experience is worthless as the skills you were taught are redundant as airmanship and handling are being designed out of the modern flight deck.

Ex military pilots are a rare thing indeed.

Bad luck poor timing

Last edited by Robert G Mugabe; 24th Sep 2012 at 08:35.
Old 23rd Sep 2012, 23:43
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 2,264
Monarch have traditionally put a good deal of store in ex-military pilots as a part of their recruitment portfolio. The recent recruitment phase was no exception. Roughly a third of the recruitment was divided into cadet pilots, type rated well experienced pilots, and non-type rated experienced (including ex-military career change) pilots. Did you try there?

They also don't charge for a type rating if you require one in any of these categories.
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Old 24th Sep 2012, 09:54
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2001
Location: uk
Posts: 1,855
Fact is the airlines want cheap and compliant youngsters whom they can work till they wilt and then drop until the next crop is needed. Stagnation in the industry means that most serious operators have plenty of experienced pilots in the rhs just in case a couple of new commands come along. There are plenty of wannabees who will work for peanuts with their new licence and type rating that daddy has paid for in ready cash.

As others have said, timing is everything. Are you prepared to sit in the right hand seat for 10,15,20 years for the promise of a pension that may or may not actually materialise or take a chance elsewhere for a quick command with an outfit that may not be here next week or treats its crews with thinly disguised contempt.

The days of an easy transition from Mil to Civ are long gone - you need a good cv, contacts, crystal ball and the wisdom to realise that whilst many of your previous skills are non-transferable others have very great value.
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Old 24th Sep 2012, 17:57
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Age: 78
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How things have changed. I came out of the RAF at the age of 38 with 8,000 hours on 4-engined aeroplanes some 30-odd years ago and I had four job offers without even trying (DanAir, Monarch, Britannia and Laker). I went to Laker on the DC-10 and got my command (on the DC-10) after 18 months.

Fred went bust as we all know and I was out of work twice (when another airline had problems) for a total of about two years until I retired at 65.

The good thing was that I never ever went back into the right seat, so, on balance, I had an excellent career and retired financially happy. I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time on several occasions and I have to say that aviation is all about who was there when the phone rang!

Paying for a type rating was never, ever even suggested.

However, times have changed as you have already noticed. You are now competing against the youngsters coming out of CTC, Oxford etc. etc.

I hate to say it but, if you can't beat them join them. Unless you have a good mate who could bring you to the attention of PM (who is ex-Hunters and runs Jet2) then you have two choices as I see it.

You say that you already have an ATPL so that's a lot of expense out of the way. To get your foot in the door you are realistically going to have to buy a type-rating on either the B737 or the A320. So, we are talking FR or EZY. You are unlikely to get into EZY because you will have to be a CTC cadet first and I wouldn't do that.

That leaves the Irish monster. You have no doubt worked for some fairly major in the RAF before, so nothing will change on that front. At least the aircraft are new, the training is excellent, it is a very interesting job, you will get paid on time and you will gain a lot of good experience.

The second alternative is to keep applying to BA and keep praying to God that you are there when the phone rings. In the meantime, I should do plumbing for your resettlement course.

Good Luck.
JW411 is offline  
Old 24th Sep 2012, 18:42
  #29 (permalink)  
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An excellent post there JW411, which pretty neatly sums up the current situation. For a guy leaving at his 38/40 year pension point from the military, who has a family to support, a 'pay to fly job" with Ryanair or Cathay 2nd Officer is not financially viable however.

The only options right now are military friendly outfits like Monarch and Jet2 (if they open up again to non-TR pilots).

When I see that guys with well over 500 hours 737-NG are getting knocked back for jobs, it tells you something about the state of the job market right now.

Here's hoping for some improvements next year!
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Old 25th Sep 2012, 11:50
  #30 (permalink)  
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Your service flying experience counts for something, but networking and luck count for more.

If you have some time available and you have not studied any economics may I recommend:

"An Inquiry Into The Nature And Causes Of The Wealth Of Nations" by Adam Smith, first published in 1776 (no I'm not joking). As you plan to get into the commercial sphere this will explain the basics of how the world really works (ground schools tend to be deficient in this area). It can be a little heavy and dull in places, but it's worth it.

Book I, chapter X, part I succinctly predicts and explains the future of this line of work:

"In the advanced state of society, therefore, they are all very poor people who follow as a trade, what other people pursue as a pastime".

Or as I put it, too many pilots confuse their job with their hobby. It doesn't matter if you are not one of them, the significant number who do effectively control the level of remuneration. The mechanics of this are as true today as they were in the 18th century. Future regulation or union activity may temporarily slow this down, but the natural trend will remain.

Bearing this in mind, as distasteful as it now appears, may I suggest that you seriously consider "Canary Wharf".

And FFS DO NOT WORK FOR FREE. It's called work for a reason.

Best of luck.
Case One is offline  
Old 25th Sep 2012, 12:31
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Ireland
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Work for free ? Forget about commercial flying cause you are obviously an idiot
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Old 30th Sep 2012, 23:26
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Europa
Posts: 612
Exclamation U2 " Acrobat "

"In dreams begin
And I can love
And I can love
And I know that the tide is turning 'round
So don't let the bastards grind you down"

You have been privileged to learn how to fly in a military environment. There you learnt from some of the very best pilots and instructors who were there to encourage you to be the best. This is utterly different from today's EU LoCo airlines who would rather not have any responsibility for pilot training expenses. They prefer 6 month-ers or those who pay to sit in the front for 100h or so.

Steer well clear of any that demand you pay for a TR or even worse the P2F nonsense that has killed flying for experienced operators trying to move along a career path.

BA, Monarch yes but also try Qatar and smaller operators. Jet2 has been mentioned and many have been offered employment under a traditional bond for a B737 rating - you don't have to pay!

The more enlightened airline managers are starting to take note of recent accidents where flyable aeroplanes were destroyed with all on board when the automation let go. Having repeatable manual flying ability and more importantly airmanship are keys to flight safety that you can bring to the table unlike a 200h cadet. The latter was short changed during training by money making flight schools with minimal flying to meet "standards" which in turn were set by a JAR/CAA system that ticks boxes rather than educates new pilots in sufficient depth.

So don't let the bastards grind you down !
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Old 1st Oct 2012, 06:42
  #33 (permalink)  
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Hi Charlie,

If you can wrangle a US Green Card in the next couple of years, there are many airlines in the US that'd be croaking for your experience. No one over here expects you to have time in a particular aircraft...as long as you know how to keep the blue side up, you'll do fine.

Military time is still highly coveted on this side of the pond, as is significant actual real flying time (ARFT, versus dolling around paying for sim time and thinking it's the same thing) and will put you at the front of the pack.

We're just going to hit some pretty significant retirements here in the next few years, so if you can work it, you'll have some nice choices.

Last edited by NuGuy; 1st Oct 2012 at 06:45.
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Old 3rd Oct 2012, 16:25
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
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I think that ex-mil guys have not always handled themselves well in the airline industry, but overall they have been a massive asset. (I am ex-mil by the way). There will always be the numpties who get people's backs up, and the military would tolerate strong characters who are miserable to work with in a way that would not be accepted outside. I agree with others that the days when being an ex-mil pilot in the UK counts for much are long gone, and I find the US system of ex-mil pilots being valued quite inspiring. Nonetheless, it is what it is and we need to face reality. The big change has been that companies like easyJet no longer take ex-mil pilots, which has had a massive effect on the market. And it is not just easyJet either who have changed their tune. I came across another guy recently who was an ex-VC10 Captain with over 3000 hours. He applied to Cathay and was told that due to his 'inexperience' he would have to go to Australia and redo his instrument rating, basic flying etc on some light twin for several months before going onto a real aircraft. That is simply crazy and shows the way the world has changed. In the past he would have been ushered into the Company with a red carpet in front of him - now he is getting the bum's rush. In simple terms, times have changed and there is really no obvious way into the big players in the airline industry without paying for a rating. Companies like Monarch, Virgin, BA, Emirates still take ex-mil in principle, but in practice take ex-easyJet (and others) pilots who are A320 type-rated and have enormous experience of commercial operations around Europe. Is that unfair? Possibly, but it is what it is. Are ex-mil guys entitled to more assistance than everyone else in getting a job? Probably not, but that is not easy to accept if you have been doing your bit for years on behalf of your country. I wish them well, but struggle to see any credible argument that puts them to the head of the queue.

By the way, HumaidDaPlane, please reassure me and tell me that English is not your first language.
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Old 3rd Oct 2012, 20:15
  #35 (permalink)  
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And dare I mention that anyone who has ever done an ENI test (Professor Eysenck Neurological Inventory Test) will realise that whilst the military want pilots with a stable/extrovert profile, civil aviation would prefer their pilots to be of a stable/introvert style.

Of course, the latter are much more simple to control which is why modern airline management pillocks can get away with what they are doing.

It actually takes leadership to control stable/extroverts.
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Old 3rd Oct 2012, 20:55
  #36 (permalink)  
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You have it backward, JW.

The extrovert has a driving need to fit in and conform - a social sycophant with a need to actively demonstrate membership of a group.

As far as as introverts are concerned, safety derived from hiding within and submitting to a group mindset counts for little and conformity, as a consequence, isn't a priority.

I know (at my airline) where all the successful union leadership over the last several decades came from and I know the background of those who didn't have the moral character or backbone to stand against that which was commercially expedient but detrimental to safety.
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Old 4th Oct 2012, 16:58
  #37 (permalink)  
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That's an interesting point of view, but can you back it up with evidence.

Certainly in the post war years, terms and conditions were excellent and the vast majority of pilots were ex mil.

The terms and conditions have steadily eroded since then and correlate with the relative reduction of ex mil pilots.

This is only a correlation which does not prove causation, but surely if you were correct the unions would be getting ever stronger as the weak minded pack animal ex mil were weeded out?
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Old 4th Oct 2012, 17:37
  #38 (permalink)  
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I don't know why I am bothering with this but I first got involved in this mumbo jumbo in the 1970's.

I was sent as a "guided volunteer" (ie. I didn't want to go) to RAF Newton on a Management Course. Some of it was interesting and some of it was best described as "dire".

The one interesting day for me was the day we spent with Psychologists from the S4 department of MOD.

The ENI test was interesting. A booklet of about 70 questions that had to be answered in two minutes (Yes/No tick boxes). Within the 70 questions were 5 "lie" questions.

So with the time available, the first answer that came to mind had to be the final answer.

So we would have the introversion/extroversion questions like:

"Would you rather go to a deadly dull party or stay at home and drink on your own".

I went to the party for I figured that I might be able to liven up the party.

To me, the most fascinating bit were the "lie" questions.

For example; "As a child, did you always do what your parents asked you to do". Who in God's name could say "Yes" to that. But, we had one candidate (not aircrew) who got all five lie questions wrong.

My score was 23: 05: 00.

When plotted on the graph, I was in the bottom right corner and the analysis was that I was very extrovert, very stable and my lie quotient was zero.

All of the aircrew were in the bottom right hand corner.

The physicologists told us that however hard we tried, we would not be able to deviate by more than one point around our median.

They told us that the RAF recruitment process was designed to accept stable/extroverts. The top man explained that what we needed were good pilots who, when told by the boss that we were going to bomb Newcastle at 1200Z would say "It's my turn for the napalm". What they did not want was a bunch of pilots asking "Is this altogether wise? Don't you think we could reach a compromise"?

As to civil aviation, I have heard it said that the ideal cockpit contains a stable extrovert and a stable introvert. The introvert stops the extrovert from getting carried away and the extrovert gives the introvert a great deal of confidence.
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Old 16th Oct 2012, 16:55
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: uk
Posts: 501
Charles. Just out of interest did you get anything useful from the replies and what direction (if any) have you chosen to follow?
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Old 17th Jan 2013, 14:41
  #40 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Age: 37
Posts: 8

Thanks again to all who replied and those who PM'd me with job info.

The update is that I'm now very proficient at letter writing and online application forms, but still nothing as yet. I have another 6-months of paid service and my last day in work is shortly approaching, so hopefully the immediate availability might work in my favour. Also, 2013 is a New Year and I'm hoping recruitment plans will start to emerge.

As a footnote, Iíve received an offer to transfer to a Commonwealth Air Force and continue flying the same aircraft. Whilst remaining in the military (albeit a different one) isnít my first choice, at least thereís now a safety net between me and the financial services industry!

In short, I'm still hanging in there!
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