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Flexicrew details?

Old 23rd Feb 2013, 20:22
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Does anyone know what the situation is like in the regional airlines (i.e. props) or freight? Given that it's a bit different to what everyone thinks of when they talk about being a pilot
What's regional and freight different to and why is it different?
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 20:44
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Spandex Masher: First off, brilliant name.

I think when I said regional I might have used the wrong term. Perhaps I should have simply said props. Anyway, when I said different, I meant that when you say pilot, I think EasyJet or BA, flying Boeings or Airbuses.

As Seamaster said, I was wrong in thinking there was much of a difference in terms of job opportunities.

Bucket & Spade: Thanks for defending me a little there - it's a bit tough to have all these home truths land in your inbox in one hit!

I have got some experience - I'm working towards my NPPL, which is progressing slightly slower than I would have liked due to college and general time constraints, but it's a start and has shown that I don't become as sick as a parrot once I get in a cockpit.

Maybe I should elaborate on my master plan a little. Once I leave college (having done my A-Levels) I hope to go to work for a bit while I apply to the likes of BA future pilot schemes. It may be a long shot, but I might as well try. I think it opens again in November, which is perfect for me. Following that, the plan was to apply to the likes of CTC and see what happened after that.

Your understanding of the student finance system is correct, but still, 60,000 of my money will eventually be spent on something I am unlikely to enjoy.

Interesting what you say about "It SEEMED that those who trained where I did and had come straight from school to training were those least likely to go straight in to flying jobs." I'm not quite sure what to say to that.
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 21:05
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Hi again B,

I should emphasise I have no stats to back up my perception about those who had done little else before training and job success but from your last post you won't be in that bracket anyway! The guys I am thinking about did A levels and then came straight on to a CPL/IR course having never even done a trial flight or much else...and they'd just signed up for a 60k flying course!

Plus, there were those who did go straight from school to flying training to jobs with top UK airlines.

Don't worry too much about slow progress - took me 2 years to get the PPL as I was on pretty measly money at the time!

Good luck with BA FPP.

Last edited by bucket_and_spade; 23rd Feb 2013 at 21:15.
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 21:36
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Flexicrew TC's - CTC extortionate tuition fees, and Ultra - Low "salaries", how does this differ from P2F?

It is just a different way to distribute the money!

Buggington: First thing you should do is get a class 1 medical, before even thinking about anything else!
You have not elaborated about your parents view of an 100.000 secured loan, this is not the same kind of loan that you would get to study at university! This is a loan that will haunt you until you die if you fail! One of the reasons that when I was 20 I stopped flying, as I did not want to take that responsibility on my families house, even though I could have easily sold my mother the story of infinite riches of becoming an airline pilot, but we are talking about 1990 and not 2012!

Now you should study some more threads on PPRuNe, before you think you have found the golden port!

Like this one:

Those "better jobs" are getting fewer in between, I know loads of guys in my company, with thousands of hours, command bla bla, and not getting those "great job" - So get ready for a long wait!!!

The BA program is the best, if you can get in with that, it is probably the best chance you will ever have in todays market, if not, be careful, as soon as you finish with CTC, there are no more guarantees, they can NOT guarantee you anything! But who cares, they then already have your money!
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 22:15
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Good plan. I've often thought about doing it, but never quite got round to it. There hasn't been anything massively obvious in my family, otherwise it would have been right to the top of the list.

I've never sold my parents the story of "infinite riches". Never. My parents are completely in the loop, have been to all the finance talks at CTC and are fully aware of the risks.

The thing that really concerns me about this career is the potential to fail before I even start.

I have been doing research on various threads, and I'm discovering that it's not really going much better for anyone else.

I'd agree with the BA program being the best - I understand that BA are supposed to be the best UK airline to work for, although Monarch are also pretty good. (not sure how their salary compares).
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 23:27
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First seeking / getting finance advice from CTC? Seriously?

They will not care, they just want your money, and believe me, I have been in business for 20 years, anything can be made to seem achievable, as long as the "right" manipulation of numbers are presented!

You are young, and what guys here are telling you, do not put all your eggs in one basket! The industry is full of guys who have ended up spending much more than the FTO!
A friend of mine, went to OAA, than paid his own TR, paid line training hours, and than paid more line training hours, in the end he got a job, but.... long time after he had spent close to 150.000! And he is making 1500 - 2000 a month, do the maths!

The potential to fail lies inside yourself, unless you get into BA program, forget the integrated course, in my honest opinion! So far you have been sold a dream, but with your age, don't get lost in their sales tricks!

First there is NO pilot shortage, NO pilot shortage upcoming, unless you have loads of experience, that is how they manipulate the truth!

I would always recommend modular, get do a FIC, work in the grass-roots for few years, and it is still possible, I have seen loads of guys the last 18 months get better jobs this way recently!

You see, your head is not in the right place, you do not really see what is going on, doing this for the money, yes of course, but you can forget to think about money for the next 5 - 10 years, that's how bad it gets!

Thinking about Monarch etc., first you need to have rating, experience, an interview - one step first!

As a pilot you get a very limited set of skills, not to be used for much else to be honest, build your skills now, fly for fun, build hours, instruct etc., study something that can be good, for the day you are searching for the flying job, so you can still manage your debts, and survive those years until you get a good job! If you ever manage, that's the truth and reality, I know these CTC and OAA, like to put photos of students they had with jobs, but they do not put the pictures of the guys who did not get jobs, who have left the business after leaving 100.000 with these FTO's, and having to either work at Tescos or go back to school and get another skill!

One guy I knew from OAA, in his class of 25, 3 had jobs, and that was with RYR, the rest had nothing!
When the money is gone, you have burnt your bridges for better ways to achieve your goals!
With CTC, don't get fooled by their golden promises, you know what they will say, words that are so hollow, but making sure you believe in yourself enough that you will part with your money!

Because you are special? Different than the other thousands swimming around in a enormous pool of Wannabe pilots desperate to sell their soul to the devil to get anything remotely similar to a flying job!

Regarding the medical, it does not need to be something obvious in your family, still there might always be something, many have had their dreams shattered for things they never considered an issue! First step before you even dream about this is class 1 medical!
Can be colour vision, EKG tests etc., you never know until it is done!

Last edited by truckflyer; 23rd Feb 2013 at 23:30.
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Old 23rd Feb 2013, 23:32
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I see we still love those exclamation marks, Truckflyer.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 00:48
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He does, doesn't he? :P

However, I could not agree more with what truckflyer says.


You are so young, you have all the time in the world to set yourself up nicely.

The trick is, be prepared for a long wait at every stage during your career. So make sure life stays fairly enjoyable. This may start with having low debts so you can have a life.

People said it before, those in easy may fly a jet, yes, but they struggle along financially. And for a long time to come. People said it before, fewer and fewer left seat opportunities or opportunities elsewhere.

Now remember, while many people warn against entering this industry I'd like to point out there'll always be the very fortunate, wealthy among us. They will always fly. And they will always want their pilots to be on excellent Ts and Cs. I claim this will not change. But to get a job like this you need to work in the industry to meet the people already in. And you don't need the hours or rating. I've seen it happening.

So, start at the bottom. Mitigate risk of failure by reducing your investment. Enjoy the ride. And keep looking for the next step.

Friend of mine had just finished high school and worked several month nightshifts in a local factory as a packer. He then left for America and got his PPL. Returned to factory working some more and did his hour building. Same for ATPLs. Took him two to three years I believe. He then borrowed the rest including instructor rating. Got picked up as an instructor in the U.S., did that for a couple of years only to then get hired onto a 73 in Europe.

Admittedly this was before 2008 so better times for him but he never had much debt and walked straight into the job while being able to live life.

Last I'd like to point this one out: those integrated courses are highly competitive. Instructors will put a lot of pressure on you to complete every lesson satisfactorily. All the while the burden of 90k is hanging over your head. And ticking. This type of environment may not be for everyone.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 07:59
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Truckflyer and Piloto are giving you good advice Buddington.
CTC Will present to you a "best case scenario" that does not exist anymore.
The chance of you ending up unemployed and heavily in dept along with thousands of others is overwhelming.

I have been in this business for 27 years, in those years I have heard the rumours of pilot shortage several times, it never surfaced.

There is a shortage of experienced pilots in India and China, where the growth will still continue for many years, but to get a job there you already have to be an experienced captain.

I work in China, it's Ok, but I always fight fatigue, due to many sectors and split duty. As for any glory, forget about it, I spend all my nights down route in shitty hotels with minimum rest.

I have kids, not much younger than you, they have not seen their father much in the last years. I am happy to say that none of them are expressing any interest in following in my footsteps, and if they did, I would talk them out of it. If I would fail to talk them out of it, I would most certainly refuse to put up any money for their training.

You have a dream that most likely will turn into a nightmare, not only for you, but also your family that might be held responsible for your dept.

Get a skill, earn some money, take the modular route. You are young and and have many years to obtain your licenses.
Most of all, never take "advice" from the friendly faces at CTC, they are leading you into a cesspit, taking every cent from you on the way.

Also, read the desperation in other threads on this forum, posted by people with thousands of hours on those shiny jets, but with no job.

Last edited by G.S. Willy; 24th Feb 2013 at 12:40.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 09:13
  #30 (permalink)  

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Going to University will cost 60K?

So assuming maximum fees payable is 27K, you're saying you've worked out the real cost is more than double this?

Have you figured out the real cost of your ATPL training?

Now factor in, you might be 45 by the time you make it into BA.

Do yourself a favour, become a dentist, buy your own Pitts and enjoy your flying.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 10:18
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I'm planning on going to Asia (Indonesia) to look for some work....... What are the chanches of getting a job as a cadet with no hours or TR? I can pay for my TR so that really isn't a problem.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 11:20
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Very small. Since of January this year foreigners need 250h on type to get a validation or local license issued.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 11:30
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SR71, maximum fees on a 3 year course would be 27k you're right. Accommodation is at least 3k a year and 3k a year living expenses is barely enough. This puts it upto 45k and if it is a 4 year course, 57k.

Difference is it is most likely unsecured personal debt so no repossession. Still an eye watering amount of money. It was a decent bit cheaper when I did it but given my course had about 6 contact hours a week I feel that was money spent a lot less sensibly than that which I spent on flight training.

I think the argument of "don't do flight training, just go to university for 3 year (regardless) for the experience etc..." is pretty redundant now.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 12:10
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in an email from CTC they say the following "You generally receive an allowance during your 6-8 months line training of 1000 - 1200 per month and are employed by ARL once you go on to a permanent FlexiCrew Contract."
What the email fails to mention is the fact you have to pay another 10,000 towards Airbus type rating costs to earn circ. 1,000 per month over 6 months. To me, thats pay to fly.

Further, its not "once" you go onto a permanent contract, but "if" you do.

How many cadets come out of CTC a month - 24? more? If they admit there are no placements anticipated for the remainder of 2013 and there are already 60 in the hold pool, you are looking at 350 cadets waiting for a job from January 2014.

The CTC cadets I know are on the dole, no prospect of a flying job this year, deferring loan payments as long as possible whilst the compound interest piles up, and are living back with the folks. Even if CTC did offer them a placement, they cannot afford the extra 10k for the rating. I accept, it wasn't always like this for graduating cadets, but this seems to be the new reality.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 12:27
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I think it would be pretty foolish to embark on a course without setting aside the 10,000 for a type rating contribution. This was the most likely employment route on starting the course so it should be considered just another necessary evil to complete it.

I don't think it is pay to fly per se, it is a shame that you must contribute towards your type rating. Unless you are extremely lucky, you must still pay for the rest of your professional training.

Last edited by giggitygiggity; 24th Feb 2013 at 12:34.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 13:19
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IFRKING- to quote the song 'he must be out of his brilliant mind..da da da dum..." sorry showing my age. Don't go to Indonesia for a job, lovely place for a bit of backpacking, but you will not have a happy experience there as a rookie pilot.

OP - can I add my plea for you not to load yourself up with tons of finance to be a pilot, unless it is money you can afford to gamble with and loose. LUCK is a key and unpredictable factor even for the gifted and well connected. Even if you get on the greasy pole, a gentle shake of the corporate finances will sling you off again. This is happening to 30 of my colleagues at the moment, many of whom are servicing massive debts, some secured by their parents. It is not a happy scenario.
If I may offer some old gits advice, right now aviation as a career stinks, but it might change as global recovery takes place. Therefore, choose another career now and plan to be a pilot when you are 28. This gives you plenty of opportunity to finance the venture, you'll go in with a wider view of life and you will only risk your own finances. Who knows, you may even decide not to be a 'bus driver after all and enjoy a functional social life while the rest of us are ploughing back from Turkey at 4 in the morning!
Best of luck, anyway.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 13:49
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Before armageddon is predicted, there are rumours of 400 new flexis in 2014 due to 17 extra airframes, upgrades, people leaving and so forth. Stelios' vendetta can of course change this rapidly, but to say expansion is over in easy, is just not true. It is just not breakneck pace anymore.
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Old 24th Feb 2013, 14:03
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Simples, trained in 2007-2008 just before the bubble burst. Yes fell for all of the OAA hype. Nearly 30 guys on my course. About 25-30% have no job but loads of debt, the others are in the lo co trap as contractors. For all the guys who have a job every single one had to pay for their TR one way or another. On a brighter note there is one yes ONE perhaps two who through their own judgment, foresight, good fortune and dam right all out luck have a proper flying job.

Whats the answer? I really don't know but if I were looking at it today perhaps I would think very differently about the risks. I write this not as a bitter unemployed graduate but a very very fortunate one. Its been the most unstable 5 years of my life.

We cant tell you what to do but look at the stats from my course. I did go flight instructing and my advice would be, if you still really want to. A: apply to BA and then apply again. Give it two shots before you do any commercial flight training because then you are not able to apply. If that does not work out go modular and then do a bit of flight instructing. Why? well lets just say once you come off one of these integrated courses you can fly on instruments but really you cant fly for toffee. I learnt to fly flight instructing
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 07:10
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good advice from Bex. I'd add the RAF into that process too, its not the one way ticket to a civil job that it once was, but you will get trained for free. Oh, there are the obvious downsides, but hell if the alternative is banqruptcy we are already talking desperate measure,LOL
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 11:08
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Dear Buggington

At least you are seeking advice from the right people before making this decision. I commend you for that but your naivity is clear.

You are so young but I also completely empathise with your predicament.

Back in the early 1990s when I started training in earnest there were no jobs and perhaps, more importantly, no access to large sums of money.

I didn't really enjoy college or want to go to university either. I too had started a PPL and instead chose to find work that at least would pay for that and perhaps give me some social life whilst living at home.

Remember, at your age you should be enjoying yourself. Getting drunk, getting laid, having fun.

The advice on this thread is spot on.

I honestly believe that the best pilots I work with are those who have had some previous career or employment and with that bring skills, experience and maturity to the job.

One last thing. Do not assume that you would be able to live at home and work for ARL. The vast majority of cadets, with easyjet, are not at their "home" base and must rent some accommodation locally.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Last edited by Man Flex; 25th Feb 2013 at 11:12.
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