Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Terms and Endearment
Reload this Page >

Military experience worthless?

Terms and Endearment The forum the bean counters hoped would never happen. Your news on pay, rostering, allowances, extras and negotiations where you work - scheduled, charter or contract.

Military experience worthless?

Old 23rd Jan 2013, 16:53
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Devonshire
Age: 92
Posts: 300
DO PAY TO FLY

Someone somewhere has paid a lot to get that ATPL. I do not know just how little flying is now required to keep a licence VALID.

I was able to find a Dart Kitten on hire to me for 1/10 per hour just to retain my ( then) Commercial Pilots Licence. I had to do six hours and six T/Os and landings. It was a single seater, so no check ride. A three hour cross-country before my first landing on type. It had been noisy and windy but so much cheaper than a complete retake of everything.

(My initial test had been from Gatwick, based in the Beehive pre-war Terminal Building with PSP around for parking, and IIRC the R/W was just grass. The night flying cross country HAD to be from Croydon as it had LIGHTS !)
Linktrained is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2013, 08:43
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 32
Balance

The financial realities are continually talked about with reference to the airlines and the cost of low hours pilots.

Well the financial reality is that I cannot afford to work for nothing or pay to get the experience of heavy jets. Simply because I have a family to support. I do have to pay to keep my licence ticking over, mostly to Cash, Again and Again but also for medicals and IR renewals etc. I'm fortunate in being in a flying job, currently, which is military linked but I am no closer to getting a foot in the door with an airline that I can actually afford to work for.

I am under no illusion that my paucity of experience in Air Transport operations is not made up for by my RAF experience but some of the building blocks are transferrable. The RAF got on very well before I joined and has continued to do so since I left. Similarly civil carriers seem to have been doing just fine without me and no doubt will continue to do so even if I don't secure a right hand seat with one of them.

I would like to think that my military training would mean that I would not make the same mistakes that were made by the unfortunate Air France crew but never say never. We are all products of our training and previous history so I will be more susceptible to making different mistakes by either error or omission. Are these mistakes any more or less serious? Well frankly who knows? Cadet pilots from the likes of CTC Flexicrew etc are trained in a manner that the regulator deems fit for purpose and military guys are trained in a manner that the force deems fit for purpose. I don't think that the two products are polar opposites but apparently HR do. Sadly for us at the moment it is HRs view which counts.

Self evidently there are people in any walk of life with any number of backgrounds with whom you would rather not work. I'm really rather looking forward to learning a new role and meeting different people from different backgrounds since the majority of military aviators are relatively homogenous in their backgrounds. Does one bad experience with a former military aviator mean that we are all bad? No to suggest so of a racial or sexual orientation background would be rightly seen as illegal and offensive. Equally can we extend the stereotype of CTC cadets to all newly trained ab initio pilots? Of course not.

Sadly I am coming to the conclusion that having started in the military these days it means that you are either stuck there or are going to have to jump to a City type job rather than moving on to the airlines. Do I think that the airlines benefit in the long term from this? No but it's not my choice or decision.

A healthy mix of backgrounds within an organisation is likely to bring the breadth of experience which will allow an appropriate level of adaptability to ensure the profitability of the organisation.

Standing by to be told what an idiot I am.
What Now is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2013, 20:53
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: edinburgh,uk
Posts: 247
I would like to think that my military training would mean that I would not make the same mistakes that were made by the unfortunate Air France crew but never say never
Without getting into a civvy/military arguement I the above statement will cause a few raised eyebrows !



Anyway, I've worked for 2 companies who have had a strong biase towards recruiting ex-mil, but now they only want to recruit type rated people as it saves on training costs. Thus ex-mil are persona non grata unless they have been somewhere else first to get Boeing-airbus experience.

So military flying is the cheapest way to get flying training but when you come out looking for a civvy job it's now going to cost you a type rating. Unfortunately it's the world we've been living in , on the commercial flying side . I don't think any line pilots want it this way, but it is now the way it is.

I don't particularly like the attitude some guys have coming out the military, saying our experience isn't valued, it almost sounds like "we deserve a decent job" straight away. Well I'm sorry but you have to join the queue with us lessor mortals and when you have a Boeing-airbus on your license , your experience will be valued . Company's are looking to save on training costs.

You don't have to be an ex- top gun to fly a 320, 747 etc. Companies are looking for the cheapest safest option.
BIGBAD is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2013, 05:25
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: UK
Posts: 32
As expected

I have clearly failed to write in clear and lucid English. I never said that I was owed a living, I simply stated a fact which I thought would be intuitively obvious. I can't afford to work for nothing.

As to the admission of human fallibility, well I'm sorry I'm not super human.

What do want Bigdad? A grovelling apology for my having had the temerity to having begun my flying with the RAF? OK I'm really sorry, it won't happen again. I promise. Cross my heart and hope to die.
What Now is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2013, 10:46
  #65 (permalink)  
Robert G Mugabe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Sadly I am coming to the conclusion that having started in the military these days it means that you are either stuck there or are going to have to jump to a City type job rather than moving on to the airlines. Do I think that the airlines benefit in the long term from this? No but it's not my choice or decision.

A healthy mix of backgrounds within an organisation is likely to bring the breadth of experience which will allow an appropriate level of adaptability to ensure the profitability of the organisation
How true.

You don't have to be an ex- top gun to fly a 320, 747 etc. Companies are looking for the cheapest safest option.
There is the problem. Most of our new recruits are very cheap because that is the value they place on their service. Then they have the audacity to whine and whinge that they are not paid a living wage. Serves the fools right and if their stupidity is enough to doom them to perdition so be it.
 
Old 1st Feb 2013, 12:44
  #66 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 317
Advice

For what it's worth my advice to you is to either stay in and get a nice cushy desk job in the MOD (which I think would be the best option) and do some recreational flying at the weekend or go and get a well paid city job and fly for fun. This profession is pretty much finished as a viable career.

To be honest even if you get a job you're going to be working for constantly decreasing terms and conditions in the UK or you're going to have to go and live somewhere undesirable like the Middle east to get paid what you're no doubt worth. Also if you join one of the second tier companies you're going to be worried about job security. I currently fly with with some ex-mil guys and I don't think they're that happy with the loco lifestyle or the way people are treated by mgt. I think they miss the respect that they were treated with in the RAF where their skills were appreciated. You won't feel appreciated in a loco, you will just feel overworked and underpaid!

Sorry if this sounds like pessimism on my part but the way the industry has changed in the last 7 years since I joined and the way it is headed with more cost pressure on pilot pay, worse/temporary contracts and future EASA changes in working hours it is no longer worth getting into it even though the flying part can be enjoyable. There's a world of difference between the likes of BA, Virgin, Thomas Cook, Monarch and the locos and those first four are incredibly hard to get into because everyone wants to work for them. Everytime one of the quality companies like Monarch opens their recruitment doors they shut them again within hours because they are literally swamped by people desperate to get out of the loco sector of self funded type ratings, 100 hour months and poor terms and conditions.
Desk-pilot is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2013, 14:16
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: England
Posts: 78
Couldn't agree more with any of that Desk Pilot.

I am just leaving the Service after 17 years as a helicopter pilot and looked into moving across into the Airlines (foolishly buying into the glamourous side of it!) rather than rotary. From meeting and chatting to a variety of aircrew in both the fixed-wing and rotary worlds I quickly came to the conclusion that the Airline world just wasn't worth it unless you were lucky enough to get in early at a very few of the major UK-based airlines or a legacy carrier abroad. Unfortunately as a 39yr old helicopter chap I am too old to be competing against 21 yr olds, which is fair enough, but I feel very sorry for the experienced multi-engine types now leaving the mob who are in the same boat, because they don't have that valuable Type Rating.

The aircrew I chatted to who seemed to be the most satisfied with their lot in life (longhaul BA aside!) seemed to be the North Sea helicopter pilots. Generally very good rosters, home every night, plenty of opportunity for overtime and salaries loosely aligned with the airline world.

Last edited by SimonK; 1st Feb 2013 at 14:17. Reason: Wrong name!
SimonK is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2013, 15:36
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: U.K.
Posts: 530
Robert,

Most of our new recruits are very cheap because that is the value they place on their service. Then they have the audacity to whine and whinge that they are not paid a living wage.


It's a vicious circle and an extremely tough market. Getting the job and experience is the hardest part.
BlackandBrown is offline  
Old 1st Feb 2013, 21:32
  #69 (permalink)  
Robert G Mugabe
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Yes but the problem we have now is what is experience. I was told years ago having 10 plus years of rotary experience by my betters on the North Sea "Go airlines because you will have a better standard of of living".

In 199* experience was either

1. A few years Turbo prop.
2. A few years Military ( fast jet / Rotary / Transport )
3. A few years self improver/ instructor / banner flying / para dropping / etc )
4. A few years dispatching / cabincrew / crewing etc )
5. CTC before it became an obvious money making scheme.

Please note that the last was included because the people I worked with who came out of CTC in the early years were of a very high standard. In fact they were trained very highly and were bright,bright people. Unfortunately the training if not the candidate has changed in the last few years. It now is less about the candidates innate ability and more about the profit margin. ( with exceptions )

We now have people who cannot or will not have the integrity to declare themselves physically/mentally unfit because they are totally dependant on " the company ". No fly no pay.

Ironically most of our low / middle management positions are filled with ex RAF people.

I joined easyJet in 200* having been in the RAF for 2* years flying the Harrier and latterly having a number of leadership roles.
The difference between leadership and management is subtle but I was told years ago that this was the "integrity" call. Some if not most of the ex RAF types do not know the difference because they have never led people but have managed assets. I do not know of any ex FAA or Army types in orange management I am but willing to stand corrected.

I can say my experience with the Tango mob is that integrity is not valued at all in this company, in fact it is not valued or demonstrated at all.

P.S Had a few gins so forgive the obvious mistakes

Last edited by Robert G Mugabe; 2nd Feb 2013 at 09:04.
 
Old 1st Feb 2013, 22:07
  #70 (permalink)  
fade to grey
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Well, it's dreadful really isn't it.
What Now - that was a good balanced post , you don't deserve any heat for it. As per AF, I can't see any trained pilots making those mistakes - ie mis- diagnosing a stall.....

When I did my original 757 TR with squadron 2000, I was partnered with a ex-Nimrod guy. I was self improver, bizjets etc... The instructor said that we both brought different skills to the table, and thus complemented each other. I think this was probably right. It takes all sorts.

Sadly alot of pilots I talk to are looking to leave aviation, as they really can't see any future in it anymore.
 
Old 7th Feb 2013, 00:24
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Devonshire
Age: 92
Posts: 300
In the 1950s and '60s a number of airlines in the UK and elsewhere went out of business. The Chief Navigator of the Charter Company for whom I woorked told me that " their work would still need to be done... by somebody. The Crews would just have to change their cap badges." He proved to be right.
And that was in the days when hardly any scheduled services were allowed to be operated except by State owned airlines, from a very limited number of Major Airports, often with a State Subsidy somewhere to help.

New aircraft could be introduced with " Our NEW Super Jet is faster than Theirs" . For many recent decades with very rare exceptions all fly at around M.8. And fly at F/L35.0 +. ( That is rather like "just below F/L !0.0 " before we had pressurisation !)

Look at the order books for new aircraft from both A and B which are due to be in service whilst some at least of the present fleets are still young, with many years of service potential. The NEW ones ARE more efficient - but still have to be paid for. The present fleets must have a lower book value. Some will be disposed of, not broken up. They will still need staff.

The only aircraft that I flew which had been bought new from the makers was the Bristol 170 Mk32. The others had all seen service as First Class Airliners with some other Major Airline.!

KEEP YOU LICENCE VALID
Linktrained is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2013, 11:05
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Unsettled
Posts: 65
I know a lot of pilots that are now branching out into different areas of the economy. Flying is no longer seen as a career. It is seen as a source of revenue which is piped directly to the pilot's other activities which provide for a more secure future.

We have to adapt to the changes in our industry. We must fight reductions in T&C toot hand nail. While at the same time every pilot needs an exit strategy. For I have noticed that those pilots with the best alternatives are the same pilots who are willing to fight the hardest for our T&C's.

I do not blame the man with a wife and kids to take care of for not being willing to put his job on the line. I do however blame the man who has the ability to walk away from flying tomorrow yet he does not fight for his colleagues who are not in such a fortunate position.
root is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2013, 11:47
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 640
Great posts RGM
FANS is offline  
Old 9th Feb 2013, 17:35
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Devonshire
Age: 92
Posts: 300
What now indeed !

At various times there been too many pilots for too few jobs.
I flew with a number who for that, or other reasons, had had to give up flying for a while.
My Chief Pilot with one long haul charter Company was a Actor at Stratford, with photographs to prove it.
One of the two Captains who flew the DC3a was learning to be a Dentist.
A Training Captain ran his own Laundrette and Taxi business, and freelanced at Croydon. ( Having taken his fares to Croydon Airport, he was asked by one of the Charter Companies to fly them to Paris. He was recognised... "I hope that you will give us a cup of tea when we get airborne..." Difficult in a Consul.He was flying DC8-73s when i last heard.)
A Senior Captain had had employment as a Cinema Commissionaire. He would have looked even more impressive if he had he worn his medals and wings. we never thought to ask !
A Battle of Britain Pilot was a Catering Manager for a few years. ( We ate well with him !)
There must have been many other, where the details have been forgotten.

I do not know what suitable simpler and lighter aircraft there might be round you. Type Technicals used to require me to draw out the systems and controls as well as knowing the limitations and capacities etc
Linktrained is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2013, 22:24
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Newcastle NI
Posts: 824
What now

Having been involved in the transition of military pilot to the airline world for over a decade I have to say that with very few exceptions, they are a pleasure to work with and military selections process tends to screen out people with issues. Their strengths tend to be an ability to learn and a focus on whats needed.
Facelookbovvered is offline  
Old 11th Feb 2013, 01:41
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Australia
Age: 48
Posts: 207
I know it may come across this way to some, but I think that there are very few military pilots who think that the airline industry owes them a high paying job or are entitled to jump into the middle of what is an almost entirely seniority based system. But I think most of us are entitled to feel that we can be a valuable asset to an employer. We have skills and experience that is relavent in the commercial world and those of us who make the concious decision to go to an airline want to learn how to operate in the new environment and be good at it.

The frustration for most of us seems to be that relevant experience does not always seem to be recognised, particularly at the early stage of the recruiting process. It is a sad fact that anything that is easy to measure and seems to be relevant will be measured. Thus total time and time on type (be it jet, or specific aircraft such as A320 or B737) seems to get a very high priority from HR departments instead of reading between the lines a bit. I know that quantity has a quality all of its own but I will venture and any one of the hours I have hand flying a helicopter at 200' in the dark over the sea on instruments is worth more than any of the hours that I now have on autopilot at flight levels in an airliner, by several orders of magnitude. But how do can I convey that on paper when trying to get the first airline interview? If you get to an interview you can argue your case but you have to get the interview first.

The hours issue gets worse the older you are because the military simply does not fly as much as airline operations and thus the hours for age disparity gets worse the longer you leave the transition.

I had applications in for a long time, with lots of companies, before I was offered an interview. In the end I was extremely lucky and ended up with a DEC which was a complete surprise but rapid expansion and being in the right place at the right time worked in my favour. Within a month of being offered my current job I received a reply from a similar operator with whom I had an application in with for over a year. 'After careful consideration' they were not even going to offer me the first stage of the recruiting process, let alone an interview. How can two ostensibly similar companies come up with diametrically opposed responses to the same CV? Stuffed if I can work it out.

I'm glad I stuck it out and got into airline flying. It may not be what it was 20 years ago but I am really enjoying it plan on sticking with it for a long time to come. I don't miss the uncertainty in the cross over period though.
Roger Greendeck is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.